Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life in the Wilderness

We moved last May from a house we loved and views that thrilled our hearts with the majesty of the Lord's creation. Our house now is across town where we can see neither of the two views we loved: the Sandia Mountains and the lights of the city at night.

I've tried to be a "good soldier" and be grateful for this house. It's a nice house, and I do like it, but I found myself looking back with longing. God heard me, of course, and reminded me of an event we've all read about in the Old Testament of the Bible.

The Israelites were in the wilderness with God and they were looking over their shoulders at Egypt. That's what came to my mind and the sweet, still voice of the Spirit said, "Don't look back at Egypt."

I never thought of my house on the east side of town as Egypt, and it wasn't because God was there. But when He directed us to pack up and follow Him, that home became our Egypt. Nothing wrong with it, but it was time to move on.

The wilderness is where God was and the Israelites didn't get it. They saw the cloud by day and the fire by night and still didn't understand. They were on their way to the Promised Land but looking backwards and not recognizing Who was leading them kept them in the wilderness 40 years longer than necessary.

I'm not looking back any more. If God's in the wilderness, then that's where I want to be. I don't know what the Promised Land is, but as long as He's leading, that's where I'll end up. It's not really about the destination anyway. It's about the journey.

Monday, November 1, 2010


You have a gift. I have a gift. Are we using our gifts?

I've known for years of a gift God gave me, and for a long time I've wanted to use it. But I'm not. I've talked to God about this a lot but didn't receive an answer until yesterday.

Many years ago I painted. Due to circumstances I stopped painting. A few years ago I tried to paint again. Nothing! The "Painting Grace" was gone.
I started writing fiction. I wrote and published a novel. I wrote 2 1/2 more novels and stopped for two reasons. One, we sold our house and moved and then I had knee surgery. All from December through the summer. The second reason: an agent told me my work was good but not great.

During those months when circumstances and stress closed down the "Writing Grace," I learned so much. Mostly about God and His care for me. Somehow I was able to let Him carry everything.

I have begun a new novel and it's a hard one. Hard because it's historical fiction based on real events and real people. I'm not sure I can write this. If I do, I will have to have a double portion of "Writing Grace."

So what did I learn about my gift?

Character has to be matured before the gift can be used. Moses had a gift from God. He tried to use it too soon. When God eventually came to him and told him it was time to use that gift, Moses didn't want to any longer. But he did--and how? With the power and grace of God.

I'm not using my gift and it's all right because I know I'm not ready. The time will come and when it does, I won't even care any longer because I'll know it is not me but God through me bringing forth His gifting.

Same with this new novel. If it happens, it will be because of Him, not me. And I won't care either way. Now that's rest.