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The Wilderness

Emily Saunders

I wrote this article on 7/8/2019. Less than 24 hours later our foster boys were back in our care. It still gives me chills. I knew there was a shift about to happen. I knew the season of rest was coming to an end. I just knew it. I wanted to write this article while I was still in the season of waiting. God is so good to us. His faithfulness is real. He is always intricately weaving and working in His amazing ways. What clarity for me as I now walk in a season of constant challenge and trial.

The Wildnerness

Recently I’ve been feeling unsettled. I feel like the last year has been one big whirlwind.. and did I mention that we recently moved too? And some of our dearest friends have moved away? And we loved some foster boys fiercely this Winter only to say goodbye to them two months later.

Then I realize I’m restless.

Then I sat down for some extra Bible time one day that I was feeling particularly strange and found myself in 1 Kings Chapter 19. Elijah has just come off a huge challenge and a huge WIN. He did something huge for the Lord when he proved God’s power to the prophets of Baal as fire came down from Heaven (This is one of my older son’s favorite Bible stories by the way) and then hundreds of Baal’s prophets were killed. It’s powerful stuff!!!

But do you know what happens? Elijah runs away and he is afraid. He actually prays that he will die. After this great triumph for the Lord, he is at the lowest point of his life!

He prays telling God all about the good he has accomplished for Him but then tells God that he is alone. At first glance, it’s easy to judge Elijah. I mean how in the world could he be pouting after all God has done through Him?

But let’s back up. Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever want God to use you in bigger ways or to reveal Himself more concretely?

I realized in that moment that I’ve been in that same season. Throughout the Fall and Winter, I felt like God was constantly challenging me and I could see Him show up in so many areas. HARD things that He was doing. My own strength was far surpassed by His. It was tangible.

What struck me today was this: The Lord also provides times of rest. He prepares us for the next big thing. He nourishes us with exactly what we need to prepare us for what lies ahead. And here’s the other thing. God brought His presence before Elijah at this low point, but first he showed him where He was not. The LORD was not in the wind; He was not in the earthquake; He was not in the fire. Where was God? He came with a still small voice- a whisper.

You see here’s the problem. I’m not always aware of the whisper. I don’t tune in. I don’t often enough look at the small things, the gentle nudges, the sweet reminders. I’m so busy waiting on the big thing that I miss God in the places He shows up most- the details.

I prayed a prayer of repentance for trying to box Him in and then I prayed that my eyes would be opened to the small things. The little moment that are so pivotal. The brief interactions. The moments where I see my children beginning to understand Him a little bit more. The encouragement from a friend.

He is in it ALL!



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