Grace In The Wilderness
Surviving the Sword
Thus says the Lord: ‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness…’ (Jeremiah 31:2)
What wilderness do you travel today?
Encroaching old age?
Relationships falling apart, or perhaps now completely lifeless even after you’ve attempted CPR?
Confusion over current earth events, wondering what new calamity or disaster will smuck us in the face tomorrow?
We don’t have to have a sword at our necks, armies breaking through our strongholds, or be thrust into a foreign prison to be survivors of the sword. Anyone who has ever lived, or will live, on this crazy planet is the survivor of a sword. Maybe not your sword, but a sword nonetheless.
(There are many buts in God’s Kingdom.)
But, he promises grace in the wilderness we travel.
We have to look for it, though. Not in the papers, the news broadcasts, the Sunday morning message from the pastor, or even in the face of a friend.
He tells us to look up, where our redemption from this fallen planet lies.
What does this Grace in the Wilderness look like? It’ll be different for each person, of course, because our wildernesses are unique. But, your grace and mine–and everyone else’s–starts and ends with Jesus Christ. He is both the Gift of grace and the Giver of grace.
Go ahead. Wherever you are, tilt your head and fasten your eyes out of this world. You may only be looking at the ceiling of your prison, but remember, God is beyond that.
The Gift and the Giver
Whether you are saying goodbye to a loved one, hello to the pain of estrangement, or admitting to yourself and others that you do not understand the what and the why of global events, Grace in your Wilderness will only be found by steadfastly focusing upon the Gift and the Giver. There’s nothing to add to that.
You might think I’m writing this message to you. That’s true. Sort of. But I’m really creating this message for me, hoping it will grow new pathways in my brain. So that I will remember, in my wilderness, the next three sentences.
He was. He is. He always will be.
Ask him, Deb, [insert your name] for grace in your wilderness.
And then look down at the cross-shaped path laid out at your feet. Go ahead, take that first step.
There’ll be another one after that.
And he’s never broken one of those.
Now when these things begin to happen, look up . . . (Luke 21:28)