_Faith like Esther.
Hi friends! It’s been a while since my last post. To be honest, it has been hard. Between work, fighting a cold, maintaining a home and the commitment to help my Dad it has been exhausting.
As I got back into the routine this morning of waking up before everyone else, working out and then reading God’s word, these verses jumped out.
They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?
True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?”
When the Lord heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blows.
I started by first thinking of the word wilderness. Living in Wisconsin, we have many indoor and outdoor resort waterparks. Many have the theme or hold the title of “wilderness”. But the actual definition is nothing like a resort. According to the Oxford dictionary, the term wilderness is an "uncultivated, uninhabited and inhospitable region". It can also be a "neglected or abandoned area of a garden or town as a position of disfavor, especially in a political context. "
While I do hold many wonderful blessings in my life, this past week had some similarities to a wilderness. Perhaps you too have felt some of this lately. I also think our spiritual lives can appear as a wilderness if we neglect to cultivate it. While my everyday circumstances are swirling in chaos around me, it is easy to ignore the more important question of how hospitable is my heart for Jesus?
Is my heart like a wilderness? Have I ignored preparing my heart for the tilling, plowing, digging, turning and planting that Jesus wants to do?
Today we visited an amazing farm. While this was my second time visiting in about 2 weeks, I am sad because it most likely will not be until next year that we are able to return. Like I mentioned before, I live in Wisconsin and “growing” anything besides snow for 6 months of the year is impossible.
I love this farm. Farmer Frank does it because he loves it. He certainly doesn’t make a fortune as he only charged us $7 the first time and $10 the second time for a ton of produce. I am so grateful that he cultivates his farm so that we can pick and enjoy the widest array of fruits and vegetables. As I picked our own peppers, raspberries, tomatoes, eggplants, radishes, apples, rhubarb, brussel sprouts, beans, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, leeks, cabbage, dill, spinach, and even grapes I couldn’t help but see God’s hand in each and every food. The beauty, the colors, the textures, the smells, the similarities and the differences in produce left me in awe of God’s precision.
At our new house I plan to have a greenhouse or at least a garden. But I never imagined that I could actually grow such a wide variety in Wisconsin as Farmer Frank does. I would imagine God wants to “produce” beautiful things in us as well. But he leaves us the job of preparing the wilderness. He is the farmer, eager to plant. But have we first shown up to the garden? And after we get there, have we assessed the condition of our hearts and given thanks to the farmer? Have I asked questions and trusted in the responses (or when there is no response, am I still trusting in the farmer’s plan)? Have I spent time with the farmer in the morning to learn what areas to focus on that day? Friends, there is so much that he wants to tell us. We have the option to have a plentiful harvest. We have the ability to produce fruit and display his beauty. If he takes so much care in creating the vegetables and fruits that we consume- how much more does he love and care for us as his inheritance?
So I think the question more appropriately changes from “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?” to “Have I prepared a seat at the table in the wilderness?” For God has proven that not only is he capable but also that he wants to give us a table overflowing with spiritual nourishment-- but are we too busy complaining about the wilderness around us that we never bring our seat to the table?
We serve a gracious and mighty God. Even when we complain and distrust him- he serves us an immeasurable supply of the bread of angels. He gives us the best of the best regardless of what we have done or how well we are “dressed for dinner”. But how much more enjoyable of a meal if we have prepared in advance? Let us not doubt God. His power makes the wind blow from the heavens. How much more can he satisfy the longings of our souls?
Let us not be ignorant and naive. In Psalm 78:32 it says:
“In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.”
I do not want that to be me. I am choosing to see his presence in my life. I believe that he is at work. I see that his timing has always been right. I am preparing my heart and am ready for the feast. I am bringing my chair to the table in the wilderness- won’t you join me too, friend?
_Faith like Esther.