Devotion: Stuck between desolation and destiny
Devotion By Dianna Hobbs // Your Daily Cup of Inspiration
On a recent trip to the dentist, one of our teenage sons learned he has a wisdom tooth growing in. So the dentist told him to be sure to keep it clean with mouthwash. Otherwise, food particles can get stuck in there and cause issues with his teeth. I jokingly told him, “You’re growing into a wise old man."
I also stressed that he heed his dentist's advice, because having trouble with wisdom teeth is no fun. His dad knows this very well. In late 2014, my husband Kenya had a terrible toothache and an earache caused by the tooth trouble. He found out he needed to have all four of his wisdom teeth removed.
Although he wasn’t looking forward to the oral surgery, he said he would much rather endure the temporary discomfort of having the problematic teeth taken out than to deal with those awful symptoms indefinitely.
After the procedure was done, Kenya was very sore, swollen, and couldn't eat solid food. His recovery was painful. But Kenya made it.
Sometimes we have to go through undesirable circumstances to make things better. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain; no cross, no crown; no wilderness, no Promised Land; no rain, no reign.
The Children of Israel learned this when they were enslaved under cruel Egyptian masters and wanted to be free. In Exodus 3:7, God said His chosen people were crying out because of the mistreatment they were enduring. So the Lord sent Moses to release them.
In order to break free, however, the Israelites had to leave Egypt behind. Besides being required to walk through miles and miles of desert, they would also have to grow used to living without the kind of food they had grown accustomed to in Egypt.
It was a hard transition.
The cruelty of the wilderness made them nostalgic. They longed for Egypt on their hungriest and thirstiest days. In Exodus 16:3, while feeling frustrated and disillusioned with their limited menu options, God's people complained to Moses and Aaron.
"If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” they said.
They looked back at the lesser on their way to greater because they didn’t know how to deal with the in-between. Have you ever felt like that—as if you were stuck between desolation and destiny? Were you at one time aggravated by the meantime experience?
Perhaps you’re there right now. If so, I want to tell you something: the journey is worth it. The sacrifices, tears and work it takes to step into your season of better are not in vain.
Whatever journey you're on, don't give up. What God has on the other side waiting for you will make it all worth it in the end. In due season you will reap a harvest. Just don't faint. There is a reward waiting on the other side. You will come out victoriously.
2 Timothy 2:12 lets us know that we must suffer with Christ in order to reign with Him. That's a reality for each one of us. That's why you can't let trouble make you retreat from life and throw in the towel. Just because something challenges you doesn't mean you should run away. Instead, run to God, who is your refuge in the time of trouble. He will keep you and strengthen you in the midst of turmoil, pain and distress.
When you’re stuck between desolation and destiny, you must tell yourself, don’t settle for less than you can have just because you’re afraid of what it takes to have better. March forward in faith. Trust God to bring you out of this low place, no matter how slow and arduous the climb. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
To help you remember this truth, I’m stirring one of my many favorite encouraging scriptures into your cup of inspiration. This one is found in Isaiah 41:10 ESV, which says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, know that this is not the end. You will bear fruit in your life if you remain connected to Jesus Christ, the true vine (John 15). Apart from Him, you can do nothing. Through Him, all things are possible—even the betterment of the worst circumstances.
The feelings of desolation and desperation are temporary. Soon you will reach your destination, and you’ll be so glad you did not give up.
Now let’s pray.
God, I thank You that better is coming. Despite what it looks like right now and how difficult things are, I know You have a good plan for my life. Even when my world feels like it’s falling apart, I trust that You will cause all things to work together for my good at the appointed time. In the meantime, I anticipate great things and I praise You in advance for them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.