Okay it’s time for confession once more. I had shingles awhile back and was down for a couple of weeks. I have recovered from them and my energy level is back. My husband and I left on vacation for two weeks to spend time being Grandpa and as one grandson recently started calling me granny. We celebrated with our youngest his first birthday and celebrated our 40th anniversary. It was a good trip other than some minor mishaps. On Labor Day weekend we spent the day at a Sorghum Festival with some really good friends then had a cookout with them in the evening. Tuesday we both returned to our normal schedules.
Sounds like everything is going smooth, right?
Wrong! Because we were busying being grandparents I didn’t get too much studying done, writing devotions or focusing on my faith. I must confess I focused most of my time on my grandchildren. Not a problem you say. We all need a break. I agree, but the only problem is I can’t get out of this break and back into my routine of writing devotions and studying my lessons and focusing on Christ. I find I am easily distracted and can’t concentrate on things I should be concentrating on.
In a week I have a lesson to give, in a couple of weeks me and my friend the Frog will be taking our act on the road again. Towards the end of the month I have been asked to be the speaker for UMW Sunday at a church at Watauga. I need to get my focus back on the things that matter. Unfortunately, Satan is using things like phone calls, the start of football season, and crafts to draw me away from doing those things I know I should be doing. I have missed at least one church service so my cup is kind of empty right now. I need to fill it up.
In a couple of nights I am going with some friends to a worship service that I know will be meaningful. I have once again begun to listen to my praise music. I have also started a new habit. I have decided that when I start thinking negative thoughts the minute I realize I am being negative or I am thinking negative thoughts I am going to replace them with a positive thought. I know it’s going to take training, but I think if I can succeed it will be worth it and those around me will enjoy my company more. I have picked up my app that helps me to memorize scripture and I am working on it again. I am beginning to take steps to get back to where I need to be. I have been in the desert or the wilderness way too long.
Jesus was tempted by Satan. Take a minute to read Matthew 4:1-11. In verses 10 and 11 The Message says, this, “Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.” I am now at the point where I need to tell Satan to beat it. I need to get back to worshiping the Lord and only Him. I need to stay focused on what is real and true in my life. Satan would love for me to stay in the wilderness.
We all love vacations but isn’t it hard to refocus on those things we find important when we get back? We often reflect on what we did and how we enjoyed our time away from everything. There is nothing wrong with reflecting on our vacations and remembering how we enjoyed ourselves. Yet, when we let our vacations continue into our daily lives and being productive again then we have a problem, which is what I had.
I have obligations coming up. I need to meet those obligations. I believe God has called me to share with these folks that will be attending these meetings and the services. Satan can tempt me all he wants in the wilderness but just like Jesus I can defeat Satan in my wilderness and get back to doing what God has called me to do.
It would be wonderful to be on vacation or retired and do as I please, but that is not where I am in my life. It may not be where you are either right now. After a long month of recouping and vacationing it is time to get back and pick up where I left off. God did not move from me I moved from Him and now I need to move back to Him and listen as He calls my name and leads me.
Wanda Jackson years ago sang this song, “Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord! Come and quench this thirsting of my soul; Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more–Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!” I think I have an empty cup that needs filing. I need Jesus to help me get out of the wilderness and fill my cup with Living water. I need to be nourished by Him once more and I can’t be if I choose to stay in the wilderness.
If you are struggling with coming off of vacation or summer being over know you aren’t alone. Know also just as Jesus was out in the wilderness and tempted by Satan we often find ourselves in the wilderness and we need to have our cups filled with His Living Water. He passed His test in the wilderness and that should give us hope to know we can pass the wilderness test too.
Eventually, Jesus was finished with his wilderness and went back doing what He was called to do. That is an example for me as well. My time in the wilderness has come to an end and I am ready (and rested) to move from the desert to those places God has called me to go.
If you are struggling in the wilderness come and walk out with me and let’s head back to church and get our cups filled. God has work for us to do are you willing to go with me?
Dear Lord, thank you for the wilderness. Thank you for the time of rest. You didn’t enjoy your testing in the wilderness. While my wilderness was different from yours and I enjoyed mine, Satan was still with us both testing our faith. You stood your ground told him to get lost and you went back to what God called you to do. Now is my time to tell Satan to get lost and get back to what you have called me to do. If there are others experiencing times of wilderness help them to fight the temptation to stay. Fill my cup Lord I lift it up fill this quenching of my soul as only you can. The world cannot quench this thirst I have. It can only be quenched by you. Thank you for all you do for me; for your love, mercy and grace. Amen.