Dear friends, after more than 3 months of silence, I am back at the computer writing again. I have lost count of the number of times that I sat at the keyboard, hands poised over the letters to type, a million things in my heart that I longed to say to you… and the words wouldn’t come. They couldn’t come. I was unable to bring words out of my heart to put into writing.
Maybe it was the hectic whirlwind of house renovation and wedding preparation (we got married last month, hurray!) that left me too physically and mentally exhausted to do anything more than drag myself into a hot shower and the comfort of my bed at the end of each day. Perhaps it was a traumatic experience with cyber bullying earlier this year which left me staggering under the weight of a volley of terribly wounding attacks on this blog, instagram, facebook, etc. It has taken me months to recover from the trauma and hurt of that period of time, and though I am at peace and have forgiven them, it left me afraid to write; because writing creates ripples and I definitely did NOT want to rock any boats. Maybe my reluctance to write was the inner workings of God turning the focus of my heart back to Him again. Or maybe it was just my heart crying out for time & space to be fully present in the many changes unfolding in my life.
I think it was all of the above, and so much more. But irregardless of its genesis, I was undeniably in a season of wilderness.
It was numbingly painful. I was frustrated and angry – with myself, with others, with God. I tried to pray, but was hopelessly unable to bring prayer out of my heart. I remember on more than one occasion lying flat out on my back, impotent and unable to utter anything to God other than a cry from my heart from months of pent-up frustration, “Lord, I have been wandering in the wilderness for so long.”
I cried out for help, but God turned His ear away. So it seemed.
So I stopped praying. I refused to worship, talk to God or about him, and I put my Bible away, shutting it out like a painful memory of rejection. I stopped trying to get into God’s good books.
BUT THEN…. He spoke to me this morning. He spoke to me. He spoke to me!!
Words of comfort, rebuke (but with SUCH love and tenderness), and a prophetic word for my beloved nation Singapore. *I will share the word I received in my next post.
It was like a gulp of fresh air after what seemed like an eternity of almost drowning. I felt like a mermaid who had been trapped on land for so long, and was finally released back into the ocean. A huge weight has been lifted off my heart, and though I know that I am not fully out of this season, I at least know that I am not alone. God has not forsaken me. He is not angry with me. He loves me!
But as I look back at this season of wilderness, and every other before, I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t trade it for a desert-less life. Because the wilderness teaches me so much.
It has taught me that God’s grace is not by my works, but it has also taught me to keep the faith even in adversity and shadow of darkness (Ephesians 2:8). It organized my life even though it also kind of threw it into disarray – it helped me to prioritize by seeing what really matters in life, it helped me to know that so much of human strife and time is wasted on what is futility and insignificant in the light of eternity, it showed me the things that are truly worth living and dying for. The desert uncovered the true heart of myself; I might have once thought that I was holy and a pretty good Christian, but not anymore. God uncovers more of me, and in doing so, reveals more of Him, so that I can truly say, “More of You and less of me Lord.”
Gladly will I admit that I am weak, for it says in the songs of the wise King Solomon, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?”
Gladly will I admit that I am barren, for the prophet Isaiah declares, “More are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”
Gladly will I remain in the wilderness for as long as I have to, because it shows me how jealously God loves me as He reveals through prophet Hosea, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.”
In the wilderness God is all we have, and we realize that God is all we need – that’s where we go deeper into the heart of Yahweh and come to know the FULLNESS of God’s care.
The LORD is my shepherd – He is Yahweh Rohi, “The Lord my shepherd”
I shall not be in need – Because He is Yahweh Jireh, “The Lord will provide”
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters – He is Yahweh Shalom, “The Lord my peace”
He restores my soul – He is Yahweh Rapha, “The Lord my healer”
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake – He is Yahweh Tsidkenu, “The Lord my righteousness”
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me – He is Yahweh Shammah, “The Lord is present”
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies – He is Yahweh Nissi, “The Lord our banner” (of victory)
You anoint my head with oil – He is Yahweh M’Kaddesh, “The Lord who sanctifies, makes holy”
My cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
- Isaiah 54
- Song of Solomon 8
- Hosea 2
- Psalm 23
- Matthew 5
- Ephesians 2