Wandering in the Desert: Three Truths for a Season of Disappointment

“Those crazy Israelites! They saw God rescue them from Egypt via ten plagues and part the Red Sea yet they still complain! What does it take for them to believe?!”

I said this to myself as I was studying for a lesson I was teaching in my Bible Fellowship class Sunday morning.

Fast forward just a mere half hour or so…

“I can’t do all this. I can’t work at home and look for work at home and take care of my son and take care of my house and sing in the choir and teach Bible Fellowship. I just can’t do it all! What is going on, God? Why have you brought me to this place and just abandoned me?”

Ahem… Hi, Pot! Meet Kettle.

Do you ever find yourself criticizing people in the Bible who saw the miracles of God, the provision of God, and the forgiveness of God over and over again, and still complained, backslid, and refused to believe?

I do it. All. The. Time. And yet, I’m guilty of the same.

If I look at my past, I can trace the gracious hand of God through every part of my life – good and bad, happy and sad, with plenty or in need. But I still find myself struggling to find faith when things don’t go exactly as I had planned.
disappointment

I know I’m not the only one, so I wanted to share a few truths I’ve learned in those seasons of disappointment when my faith is wearing thin:


  • The works of God I have seen are just as real as the supernatural works that the children of Israel and others in the Bible saw. 

No, I did not see God part the Red Sea. I was not there when Jesus turned the water into wine. But I was present when He provided for that bill I didn’t think I’d be able to pay. I did witness Him take care of my son through a high-risk pregnancy. Time after time, I have seen Him provide, protect, and do what only He can do.  Those miracles are just as real as any in the Bible. And they displayed God’s sovereign power just as much.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20


  • God does not change. Ever. Even when we are wishy-washy in our faithfulness, He never is and never will be. 

We see the children of Israel throughout Scripture going back and forth from faithful to rebellious. They fall into sin, they repent, God forgives, and they return to Him. Repeat ad nauseam. But one fact remained through it all. God was just. God was merciful. God was faithful. And if we look back on our own history, we will see the same.

Never has God forgotten me or left me abandoned. I may feel that way sometimes, but He is always there. And if I truly pay attention, He will remind me in subtle little ways. Like an encouraging word from a friend who had no idea what I was experiencing at that time. Or just the perfect devotion in my email box. Or that unexpected gift card that will pay for groceries this week.

Pay attention. He is faithful, even when we are not.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13


  • My faith grows the most in the times of waiting when I have to trust God’s plan.

The caveat of this truth is that I have to let it grow my faith. There’s a saying (not sure of where it originated) that says “Trials can make you bitter or make you better.” If we hang on, trust Him and stay in His Word and in prayer, those seasons of disappointment can be the sweetest times.

I can honestly say my faith has grown more in the last few months, when I followed God’s leading to leave full-time work to come home to my son and an uncertain future, than it has at any other time. When we are forced to trust His plan because we can’t see what the future holds, we will automatically draw closer, waiting for a word or directive from Him. I’m a person who likes to be in control. When I’m no longer in control, I can easily flip out, worry, and wring my hands. Or I can trust Him as I never have before because it’s the only option.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” – Psalm 130:5

Just hang on, sweet friend. Things may look bleak and even scary now, but our God is so faithful and has a wonderful plan for your life!

Love in Christ,

she who has believed

 

 

 

Please visit the comments below and tell me about how God was faithful in your season of waiting!

(All Scripture references are from the NIV.)

I shared this post at Salt & Light Link Up.

 

10 Replies to “Wandering in the Desert: Three Truths for a Season of Disappointment”

    1. I think we are all there from time to time. Thankful that we have Him as our Father! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  1. Oh, Edie! I absolutely love this!! I, too, am guilty of criticizing the people we read about in the Bible. I guess it’s so easy to do because we know (mostly) how their stories end. But, you’re right. God is just, faithful, and merciful. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

  2. What a great reminder! I too, have wondered how the people in the Bible could be so faithless when faced with such amazing miracles, and then I’ve turned around to behave in the exact same way. This is a season of disappointment in my life so I really needed this. Thanks for sharing!

  3. You are an amazing writer-this was perfect for me too come across this morning. Thank you for such a beautiful reminder of what I know but sometimes forget when things get tough. Love to you and family.

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