Before You Go

God didn’t send this disease, or the economic difficulties to be dealt with. The world is broken, bad stuff happens, and broken people do bad things.

On the contrary, Jesus is in the healing, restoring, and transforming business. Always. And in a world crisis, I believe that means the healing, restoring, and transforming that are available must be huge.

As we enter the next phase of all this, please don’t waste one step of this wilderness journey on fear or bitterness. You may not have recognized it, but it’s actually holy ground, the place God is training you for the family business.

“I will win her back by inviting her to the wilderness, where I can speak to her heart. I will restore the vineyards and give them to her there. I will transform what she’s known as the Valley of Pain into a gateway of hope” (Hosea 2:14-15a, paraphrase).

Your senses (and the media) tell you this wilderness is the embodiment of fear, heartache, and pain. Take a breath. Don’t give in to resenting this place—this bizarrely wonderful place. God isn’t punishing you, or testing your faith. Just the opposite. This is where he can be alone with you and bless and build you with his faithfulness. He’s here to listen to everything you’re thinking and feeling, and speak to your heart about it all. This is an amazing place of intimacy with him, where he can heal, restore, and love you to life.

“My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me!'” (Song of Songs 2:10).

Jesus loves being here with you. There are fewer distractions as he equips, empowers, and encourages you to live in light of all he is for you. This is indeed a proving ground, but it’s not to prove your worth to him. It’s for you to prove the weapons, tools, and gifts he’s given you, to train with them until they feel as natural to you as breathing.

Your time with him in this place is growing and strengthening you to become a brilliant and powerful blessing, both now and in the next season of your life. When your time of transformation here is fulfilled, people may not even recognize the new you. And not because you’re wearing a mask.

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?” (Song of Songs 8:5).

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