This is Day 7 of 40 days of the allegorical devotional fiction, The Woman in the Wilderness.
She had a smile on her face. That the valley seemed to wind toward infinity mattered little. She didn’t even notice that the valley seemed to get narrower and narrower as she walked on. The sun, which seemed to be blazing a little more furiously that day, did little to faze her. Her dwindling water supply, though not as refreshing as it was the day before, could not instill any seed of worry within her.
He would look after her. That was her peace. That was her reason to rejoice.
She was beginning to feel a level of pride at the peace and happiness she was experiencing, subconsciously giving herself a tap on the back acknowledging how good she was doing. This perhaps was what caused her blindsided shock when, after turning a corner along the valley’s winding pathway, she saw something that she was nowhere near prepared to see.
She was numb at first as she stood still, taking the sight in. The shock soon wore off, replaced by a sick feeling in her stomach and a multitude of thoughts running across her mind all at once.
“No, no, no…” she whispered, clenching and unclenching her fists in utter disbelief. “This doesn’t make any sense.”
Right there before her was where the two ranges that created the valley met. She finally reached the end of the valley and it was a dead end.
All joy, all peace, all thoughts of good things and hope unseen melted away as bitter disappointment began to sink in. “All was for nothing,” she said breathlessly, sounding as if she were about to break into sobs.
Then there it was. A voice so strangely familiar.
Did He really tell you to go on this journey?
Yes, of course He- She paused. Did He really? Doubt began to consume her. It’s all in vain. All this is in vain. As if to reinforce her doubts, there it was again…
There’s a passage in His Word that says, “What is man that He would care for him, the son of man that He would think of him?” Why would He want you?
I remember that passage. I am but a breath, my days are like a fleeting shadow. Who do I think I am? Why would I think He would, in all His glorious perfection, want me? I’m a fool to go on this journey.
The hint of mockery was unmistakable as the voice delivered its final blow.
Turn back. Life is short. It’s not too late for you to live your life as you please while you still can.
She turned around and looked at the way from where she came. She creased her brows in thought. Her spirit was crying out within her. She knew something was amiss. It was then that she recognized the voice – a voice that had been her close counselor once, a voice once sweet and alluring. Now, it sounded like nothing but an enticing hiss. It reminded her of a slither – a winding away from Truth.
Setting aside the doubt, the shame, the self-focused magnification of her obvious weaknesses and imperfections, she desperately tried to recall Who the Love of her life was.
His word returned to her. His love endures forever.
Another still, small, calming voice brought her the peace that she needed.
Though the LORD is on high, He looks upon the lowly.
She stared at the dead end. Though she didn’t understand, she believed. He would give her a way through.
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
Psalm 8:4 (NIV)
…His love endures forever.
Psalm 136 (NIV)
Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Psalm 138:6 (NIV)
When we encounter His power and glory, see Him for all He really is – His greatness, His wonder, His magnificence, the enemy can use that knowledge against us. He sometimes uses God’s Word against us, the same way he did to Jesus in the wilderness. The enemy casts doubt about God’s love for us.
These are moments when we can’t look at our own weakness or sinfulness. We can’t even look at the circumstances that surround us. We look to Him. We look to His Word. We remember His promises. We remember Who He says He is. And we hold on to that.
Do you believe that God is Who He says He is? Do you believe that even in His greatness, He wants us, He chose us, enough to give His life for us? He is not some prideful, snobbish monarch who sits on high, caring little for His lowly subjects. In all His glory, Jesus chose to become as man. He knows what it is like to be us. He understands, and He never looks at us with disgust or condemnation.
May this truth sink deep into our hearts: He desires us. He longs for our fellowship. He doesn’t want us to give up.
So no matter what lies the enemy throws our way, no matter how impossible our circumstances are, we can’t give up. He said He will make a way for us. Let’s believe that.
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