June 24, 2016
Jennifer Kennedy Dean
We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our Friday Friends. So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our Friday Friend,
Jennifer Kennedy Dean.
The LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing (Deuteronomy 2: 7).
Friend to Friend
Desert times are fruitful times. Though they seem barren, lush fruit is being produced in our lives when we walk through the desert.
“The LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing” (Deuteronomy 2: 7).
As we see in this verse, God shows us who He is by what He does. We see His promises worked out in the lives of His people and know that the same God is working in our lives.
Moses is reminding God’s people of the ways God has been faithful and of how His hand has been on them every step of their forty-year journey in the wilderness. Can you relate to a wilderness journey? Life’s path takes all of us into desert territory from time to time. Sometimes the terrain is brutal and the sun scorching. We feel parched and desperate for a relief that seems not to come. And just like the Israelites, we can see God’s hand most clearly in retrospect.
When we are in the middle of a desert trek, God’s hand seems absent, blinded as we are by the glaring circumstances. But when we emerge from that leg of the journey, we can look back and see that God has watched over our every step. The journey was hard and went on longer than we thought we could bear. But here we stand. All the way through the desert, just when we thought we couldn’t last another day, God’s mercy met us in some observable way: a kind word, an unexpected provision, or a “chance” encounter. The assurance of His presence always came.
The desert has things to teach us. We learn things there that we can’t learn anywhere else. We see the careful provision of our Father in a different light. His love stands out in stark relief against the background of the desert’s barren landscape. In the wilderness, we come to the end of ourselves. We learn in new and deeper ways to cling to Him and wait for Him. When we come out of the desert, the desert lessons stay with us. We take them with us into the next stretch. We remember the God who led us through the desert, and we know that He is with us still.
The Lord will sanctify your desert times and make them to be fruitful in your life.
Dear Lord, I know that wherever I am, You are with me—guiding, protecting, providing. You make a mountain into a way; You make streams flow in the desert; You cause a root to grow out of dry ground. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to see You work when all hope seems lost.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Looking back, what do you now know of God that you would not know if you had never walked through a desert?
Are you in a desert now? Can you see glimpses of God’s provision?
If you are in a desert right now, name the things you fear. “I fear _______________.” Then recognize that is a lie the enemy is trying to make you believe. He is feeding you this lie to rob you of faith. Name the fear and then choose to believe the opposite.
*All Scripture references are taken from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
More from the Girlfriends
I have been thinking, studying, teaching and writing on prayer since I was 20 years old. Forty-plus years. From the beginning, my quest has been to know the difference between a prayer life and a praying life. I want to know how to hear God’s present voice in His living Word, and I want to live and move in a present-tense relationship with the Living Jesus. My books The One Year Praying the Promises of God and Conversations With the Most High come out of those twin desires.
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