Monday, May 19, 2008

The Sahara, The Son, The Rain

By now you have noticed I am enthralled with how nature speaks to us of biblical principals, illustrating how God works. Last week we watched a channel known for its nature shows and the topic was the Sahara. I found it a fascinating topic. But, what really got my interest was what happened to change the Sahara from a lush, exotic area to a barren desert.

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It seems at some point in time, there was a change in the tilt of the earth. When this happened, the area we now know as a fiercely barren desert, hostile to most life forms changed rapidly from lush to dry. What caused this? The tilt meant the area of the Sahara was further away from the sun. The change was enough to prevent the heat which previously caused the rain cycle the Sahara was accustomed to. The absence of the heat, followed by the absence of the rain cycle, caused the area which depended on this cycle to be transformed, quite rapidly from more of a tropical environment, to an unrelenting, barren desert environment.

A few months back I mentioned how the physical sun is thought to be a picture of Jesus, and the physical moon is a picture of The Church. Reason being that The Church has no light of itself, (nor does the moon) and it can only reflect the light given off by The Son...pretty cool! Naturally, coming from this perspective I couldn't help but be alerted when my ears heard that a new distance from the physical sun, is what transformed the Sahara from lush to barren.

The Sahara is the largest hot desert on the earth to date, growing every year. Its in the shape its in, because it is not close enough to the sun to generate the heat necessary for the rain cycle to sustain the sort of life it once had. It is what it is. But, it doesn't have to be like this for us.

We would all agree that there are times in our life that God seems far away. Also that there are times that try, try, try our faith. But, we are promised He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. Everything I have studied in the scripture, and what I have experienced in my admittedly short time with the Lord (15 plus years), says any distance comes from 1) ourselves, and 2) our perception. While there are numerous biblical examples, Jesus is our perfect one. The only time He was bereft was on the cross at Calvary. He desires fellowship with us. While He will change the manner in which He communicates with us from time to time, He will not fail to communicate with us. We may misunderstand Him. But, He is always faithful to guide us, and be available to commune with us. Any barriers are there by our own hand. However, He will even help us to remove the barriers, as we can do NOTHING without Him. Since He has assured us that "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.", and further that "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing", I believe I can take Him at his Word! :)

Religious speak says that there are times we don't hear from God, "when God is silent". I have heard this more than a few times in my life. I can remember being a little scared of the thought of when that time would come. However, over the last few years I have come to know Him in a way that says you just can't believe everything you hear! That is not WHO our God is! And I am so grateful! If I am to abide in Him and Him in me, if rivers of living water are to be able to flow from my belly, If I am to seek Him early and remember Him in the night, if I am to pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, if I can ask for wisdom and know that He gives it liberally (If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5)
all these scriptural truths paint a picture of a God who is near, who is within, who desires to keep me from a dry life. But Who also knows, that in my humanity, I will be dry at times, I will be foolish at times (OH, ok, many times!), I will cease to pray at times, I wil certainly not always give thanks in all circumstances (as I would like), and He has a grace sufficient for me even then. He will meet me, as soon as I call to Him. I need only listen. Listen for that still, small voice, for that inner knowing of the spirit, for that desire to get on my knees, and on my face and just say, "I'm sorry, I've done it again, or I just don't know what to do, I don't know where to go from here, please help me, send from heaven and save me, Father." , then get up and take baby steps if necessary out fo the valley and up the mountian. Psalm 119:151 says He IS near!

I would like to add that (in my life anyway), the times I have struggled to "hear" from God the most, I discovered that what I was really struggling with was my desire to have my flesh pleased. In other words, there was an answer, it just was a hard answer and one that required growth on my part, (more than I was in the mood for!). I am somewhat of a slow learner at times. And this particular realization came with rueful recognition of the fact that what I had perceived as my lack of ability to receive the wisdom of God for a situation, was actually my failure to recognize that what I thought was unacceptable, was pretty much what was going to happen, and it was for my good. Guess, what? I'm still here! Maybe that's just me, but, I share it in hopes that I am not alone in this phenomona, and that it will help someone else who is struggling at times!

I urge you to not believe in a silent God. Test the scriptures for yourself. I urge you to move closer still to the Son, so His warmth can bring the rain! We need the rain!

"And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night
and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
If I shut up heaven so no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways,
THEN will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified (set apart for holy use) this house, that My Name may be here forever, and My eyes and My heart will be here perpetually." (we are now this temple - we have this promise)


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11 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

Once again I just love your heart in this post! Always so encouraging. I guess I have always thought of those "dark night of the souls" and "when God is silent" moments as God speaking to me through the apparent darknes and through the apparent silence. He is so much higher than we are and we cannot always understand His ways! I love it that you point out that even then He is with us. Too weird that we had three of us focused on deserts around the same time! Love ya girl! LOVE the moving water pic. What is the secret there?

Denise said...

I love this post, and I love you my friend.

Sharon Brumfield said...

What a fantastic post. God has been speaking to you for sure.
Thanks for the little history about our world--didn't know that about the dessert. Cool.
I know that where I have been lately has been my fault--He has not moved.
This will have to change soon or I will hear His voice soon say---Sharon Lynn Brumfield! :)

I once heard someone say...the teacher teaches and then He is quiet while the student takes the test. But as you know the teacher never leaves the room while His students are taking a test.;)

Looking forward to once again standing in the rain with my face raised toward its source.

Thanks Maria

freetofly said...

Hi, Leslie! Thank you! I so agree that His ways ARE higher & we really DON'T always understand & I like it that way!

RE: the moving pic, I will e-mail you! Nothing to it!

Denise - Thank you my friend! & You too!

Sharon - Thanks very much. Girl, He's got you covered for sure! I am still not over that post about Bono & the analogy of God's covering, beautiful! Then the birds, too!

Happy Tuesday, Ya'll!

xoxo,
Maria

Carole said...

Such a good analogy with the Sahara, the shifting from the sun, and the Follower shifting from the Son and the resulting dryness.

You've got a heart for speaks to people's lives.

Nicki said...

Great post! I personally don't see how people can NOT see God in the nature all around us!! It's crazy not too!!

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

Awe.Some! Love it!! :D
I find it amazing what we can "hear" when we are listening....

BunnyGirl said...

God frequently speaks to me through nature and the wonders of the natural world. Great post

Tiffany said...

Hello sweet friend! This is such a beautiful post. I am in total agreement with you. I don't believe in a silent God. I think there are times in our lives when we have to wait patiently for His answer.(It comes in His time, not ours.) And sometimes the answer is NO! He said He would Never leave us or forsake us. We are the ones who remove ourselves from His presence through our rebelious sinful nature. I think many times in life we say "God is silent," b/c we are relying on our emotion and our own perspective. But, as you and Leslie have said- His ways are higher than our ways! We will not always understand. But, we can not rely totally on what our feelings are telling us, b/c our feelings can decieve us! Blessings!

Joyful Days said...

What a nice picture (well--actually not really--who wants to be the SAHARA spiritually???). Maybe I should say what an accurate picture you painted.

It made me think, why, in our right minds, would we want to move further away from God?? But we do.

Help us LORD to move towards you to draw life-giving sustenance.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Hey girl-
I know you are enjoying some time with your family but I just wanted to stop in and say Hi! and that I will miss you.
I'll be back as soon as God allows.
Keep shinning!
Love ya girl

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!