God’s Presence from Forest to Dessert Land

 

It’s been a physically and emotionally draining week yet a blessed one.  I’m thankful to be resting in the shelter of my Savior—Jesus who has provided a sweet safe-haven for us during this season in our lives.  The week flew by like a whirlwind. Many people traveled from LA to Grants Pass and vice versa.  It’s amazing because I don’t remember asking a single person for help… people volunteered on both ends.  Our VBS had been hit with all kinds of technical problems on our last day, so I was somewhat afraid of issues with the move that could potentially hinder us.  Following Josh’s tradition before traveling, I had taken both cars to the mechanic to be inspected beforehand.  Thanks to the many people praying we had no issues and the Lord granted us safety and a smooth trip.  The first couple of days following our arrival I worked like a busy aunt trying to organize my storage space yet was interrupted with reflections of life in Oregon.  Then, like a tile wave tears streamed down my face…I felt empty and just wept for a short time.  It hit me, that I was going to miss the incredibly loving friends we made and the home we were gifted with for a season.  The Lord graciously drew me to Himself and I found solace in the ever faithful fountain of living water that relives my thirsty soul—Christ. He granted me complete peace through prayer and hearing from God’s word.  We cannot grasp yesterday nor turn back the hands of time; yet we can fill the pages of today with new dreams, hope, and love.

One thing God is impressing on my heart is that of perspective… sometimes we can get overwhelmed in life because of our nearsightedness.  If only we could see with eyes of faith as if seeing a real-time picture of all that lies ahead of us, we would persevere despite the present hardship.  When I gave birth to Nathan, I kept reciting to myself the second verse in Hebrews 12 that says, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross.” This profound truth motivated me to preserve the labor pains and push forward…the results were sweet fellowship with Christ in my suffering and a beautiful baby boy was begotten just seconds after the doctor arrived.  No matter what our situation may look like in this life, we have an inheritance awaiting us in glory and glimpses of it reflected from the graces he pours on us in this present world.  It would be so easy for me to dwell on the past and to complain about all we’ve lost, yet the Lord has been so faithful to us through our past heartaches and sorrows.  It would be pure foolishness to miss out on the joy of offering Him my worship and praise with thanksgiving merely to trade it in for a ‘woe is me’ spirit and misery.  God calls us his friends and one of the privileges of this office is that we can take him our worries, our cares and even our complains.  David does this in the Psalms.  “With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.  I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.” (Psalm 142:1-2) Yet, as we talk to God through prayer and recount all the ways he’s proven faithful we won’t help but to be moved and lifted into inexpressible joy, peace and thankfulness for who God is all that He does or will grant us. “Bring me out of prison that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:7)

Everyone on this planet benefits from God’s common grace.  God causes the sun to dawn each morning, gives us rain to provide us water, and sustain our lives with the air we breathe and the lungs to pump the air into our body.  Even more so, Christians are sanctified and blessed even in this world despite what the it may throw at us.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

If only we could see heaven daily we as live our every-day lives on this earth! At first, I likened moving out to Palmdale to going into the wilderness in a dry climate devoid of the lush green trees abounding in Oregon.  I asked the Lord to give me eyes to see it’s blessedness.  Then, I was reminded of how God shaped the rocks along the roads and formed the hills and mountain that look like they’re made of sand.  The wonderful couple who have taken us into their homes like to go on walks—lately the boys and I have joined them.  They remarked how nice it is to live in a place where we get cool evenings.  It truly is serene to go out in the evenings in Palmdale.  The breeze of the gusty winds is remarkably refreshing. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name.  For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations” Psalm 100: 4-5

Prayer: Sovereign Lord who rulers and reigns over human hearts, nations and even spiritual dark forces. You have kept your people safe under the shadow of your wings and have allowed only what you have ordained to singe us in ways that chip away the dross for the sake of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is not of this world.  Our eyes only see what’s directly in front of us, yet you see all things as they are and as they will be.  Thank you for comforting our hearts with these truths and sustaining us in this dark world where chaos and war abound… Thank you for how refreshing your Word is to our souls.  Thank you for moving us closer to friends & family safely.  May we ever thirst for Christ and see His light beam down every aspect of our lives.  Forgive us for often being short-sighted and given to complaints and emotions.  May we be graced to see with your vision to illuminate us and light the path directly before us.  Thank you that you shield us from harm and that your ways are always perfect even when we don’t understand them fully.  Please continue to keep the boys underneath the shadow of your wing.  May we be willing pure vessels for your honorable use and ever trust and hope in you.  In Jesus’ holy name.

6 thoughts on “God’s Presence from Forest to Dessert Land

  1. Your writing is eye opening. I look forward to your words as it reflects Christ. Even through this storm you continue to trust God in everything. You are an inspiration! I believe you are drawing those around you and those who follow your blog closer to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Erica,
    I miss you and Noah and Nathan! Our church is not the same without you here! However, I am so happy for you that you are with family and good friends surrounding you. Thank you for continuing to write and share your life and faith in God. You are a light to all of us as you continue to persevere and walk hand and soul with Jesus! Love hugs and prayers for you all, always. 💓 margo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Margo! We miss you guys and our Merlin church family so much!!! I’ll continue to share what the Lord is teaching us thru this journey. Keeping you all in my prayers!! Hope the smoke and the fires clear up for y’all soon!

      Like

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