Waiting in the Desert Times of our Lives

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I just love it when God gives me a devotional. I get up not knowing what I am going to write about and then God just puts it in my head. This is one of them. Hope you find something that will help you draw closer to God or make your walk with Him a little easier.
Late last year I was given a beautiful white cup with the verse, “All things work together for good to those who love God” Romans 8:28. The wording is printed in beautiful silver. The first time I put it in the microwave the cup sparked a little. I went ahead and heated it up nothing happened. As I was picking from my cups to drink my tea this morning this cup caught my eye. I knew I was supposed to use this cup. I was afraid to put it in the microwave again because of the sparking. I have a very little coffee maker that I use just to heat up water. I thought it wouldn’t take long I’ll just use this to heat my water. I poured the water in and waited and waited. I put my cup in the microwave and in about a minute I can have a nice hot cup of tea. This morning as I was watching it seemed like it took forever for it to run through and heat the water. My mom always told me, “A watched pot never boils.” It really did not take that long, but because I wanted my cup of tea now it seemed like it took forever.
As usual God gave me a lesson. When I want something so badly I pray and I expect it to happen immediately, but that is not how God works. God has to set everything in place, He has to move things around so it will work out according to His plan and He does it in His timing. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us of this, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  We cannot understand God’s ways or His thoughts so we must wait upon God’s perfect timing. The water had to run through a heater and then into the pot. When it was finished and I had my cup of tea it was perfect and worth the wait. That’s what it is like when we wait upon God. We may not like the wait and it may be hard, but when we get what God wants us to have it is well worth the wait. 
While waiting for my perfect cup of tea I decided I would go ahead and pick out my tea bag (I love flavored tea and have many flavors to choose from), get the sweetener ready and grab the honey. I decided to get things ready for my cup of tea so when it was finished I would be ready. That is what God calls us to do when we are waiting. We are to prepare ourselves for whatever is next. We are to be in prayer, we are to be studying our Bible and we are to be surrounded by those who encourage us during our waiting period. What would happen if God called you to do something and you weren’t ready? You would have to waste time getting ready, but if you stay busy in God’s word and prayer then when the timing is right you are ready for service. It doesn’t do any of us any good if we are just sitting around stewing about how long it’s taking. It wouldn’t make the tea maker heat the water any faster if I just stood close by and watched it. God calls us to prepare ourselves and keep in the Word and prayer as we are waiting. 
I have watched cowboy shows way too much. My grandfather watched them as well as my dad. Now my husband is into them. He loves it when football season is over because He knows he gets to watch cowboy shows during the football less season. One of the things I have noticed when these men are lost in the desert they are constantly searching for water to quench their thirst. They don’t just stand in one place and hope someone will come and rescue them. If they did that they would shrivel up and die. They keep moving hoping to find water to quench their thirst. That is the way it is with us when we are in the desert times of our lives. We don’t stand still hoping God or someone will come and rescue us. We move forward looking for what will help us survive. Again seeking scriptures that give you hope is a good way to survive the desert times in our life. Bending down on our needs and praying for God to sustain us is another excellent source and then finally being among church friends who will encourage us. We have a choice we can stand still and shrivel up and die or we can move forward looking for those things that will sustain us in our desert times. 
My husband and I had a desert time for two long years. We were getting desperate. Just when we didn’t think we could go on God moved mountains; the end came. Looking back that was some of the best two years. Now not going through it, but looking back I saw how we began to depend on God and not ourselves. I saw how God provided for our every need. Was everything granted to us we wanted? No, but God granted us and gave us what we needed to get through the desert times. 
Now to sum this up let me remind you of the scripture on the cup, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” (Roman 8:28) I have lived long enough to know this is so true. When all things came together I had a perfect cup of tea. If we hang in there with God and love Him regardless of whether we are in the desert or the mountaintop; if we follow His ways all the time and not just in the prosperous times all things will work out for us. It’s all about waiting and God’s timing. 
If you are waiting are you preparing yourself to what God has in store for you? Are you moving forward in your desert time or waiting for God to rescue you? Maybe you just need to move forward and find the ways He has for you to sustain yourself until His timing is perfect. Maybe it’s about trusting and depending on Him. The desert time will come to an end, my friend of this I am assured and when it does you will be amazed at the things God has taught you and how good things really are. 
Now I am going to go heat up some more water, prepare to fix me another cup of tea and wait for God’s goodness to fill my cup. Won’t you join me?
Dear God: I am amazed at how simple things like waiting teach me about your ways and your timing. I don’t always like the desert and I don’t usually understand why I have to go through them, but when I get to the other side it’s just as amazing to see your work in my life. I see how you take the desert times of my life and fill my cup with goodness when I wait upon you. Remind me that I am to move forward in those desert times and look for those scriptures that will quench my thirst and sustain me. Remind me while I am waiting that I should be preparing myself so that when you call upon me I am ready. When the timing is right and everything is set in place you fill our life with goodness. Our cups overflow with all the blessings you have given us. We need to be aware of those blessings and know there are more to come if we just wait upon you and follow your ways. Thank you for leading us out of the desert and for those mountain top experiences that are sure to follow. Amen 
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