Barren wasteland

I receive daily Christian devotionals in my e-mail from Elisabeth Elliot. Some are good and some just don’t really affect me much. I wanted to share this one piece that really spoke to me. Non-Christians won’t get much out of it but I really could have used something like this when I was suicidal and working in Kentucky.

Wastelands: Exodus 13:17-18

There are dry, fruitless, lonely places in each of our lives, where we seem to travel alone, sometimes feeling as though we must surely have lost the way. What am I doing here? How did this happen? Lord, get me out of this!

He does not get us out. Not when we ask for it, at any rate, because it was He all along who brought us to this place. He has been here before–it is no wilderness to Him, and He walks with us. There are things to be seen and learned in these apparent wastelands which cannot be seen and learned in the "city"–in places of comfort, convenience, and company.

God does not intend to make it no wasteland. He intends rather to keep us–to hold us with his strength, to sustain us with his sure words–in a place where there is nothing else we can count on.

"God did not guide them by the road towards the Philistines, although that was the shortest…God made them go round by way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea" (Ex 13:17,18 NEB).

Imagine what Israel and all of us who worship Israel’s God would have missed if they had gone by the short route–the thrilling story of the deliverance from Egypt’s chariots when the sea was rolled back. Let’s not ask for shortcuts. Let’s keep alert for the wonders our Guide will show us in the wilderness.

    I receive a daily devotional from Elisabeth Elliot, a famous missionary
whose husband, Jim, died while trying to minister to a tribe in South
America. Sometimes, I receive nuggets of wisdom too good to glance over
and must share. Here’s one.

God’s Secret Purpose
    Whatever
the enemy of our souls can do to instill doubt about the real purpose
of the Father of our souls, he will certainly try to do. "Hath God
said?" was his question to Eve, and she trusted him, the enemy, and
doubted God. Each time the suspicion arises that God is really "out to
get us," that He is bent on making us miserable or thwarting any good
we might seek, we are calling Him a liar. His secret purpose has been revealed to us, and it is to bring us finally, not to ruin, but to glory.
That is precisely what the Bible tells us: "His secret purpose framed
from the very beginning [is] to bring us to our full glory" (1 Cor 2:7
NEB).

    In my mind, I’m always wondering whether what I’m doing is
right for me, but thoughts like the one above remind me that I often
need to "let go and let God" take care of my anxieties and worries.
Burdening myself with so much only exacerbates my depression.