Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lessons From the Desert: To Have Feet Like A Deer

This month at Pasture Living, I'm sharing what I learned during my Israel trip and why I think this series is very relevant to healthy living. I believe being physically healthy is important, but being mentally, psychologically, and spiritually healthy is also extremely important for a fulfilling and joyful life. If you missed any of this series, click here.

Advent Day 14

Passage Reading: Psalm 18:33

When I think of deserts, I think of bare, desolate, lifeless and desperate lands. But our hike at En Gedi proved that there can be life in the desert. We saw wild goats (1 Sam 24), green trees, plants, streams of water and waterfalls. Shepherds know the desert well. They know where to bring their sheep to find green pasture and water. When the sheep follow their shepherd, they will find pasture and water. David was a shepherd. He knew very well how the desert was like and how hard life could be in the desert, but he didn’t ask God to change his path, instead he asked God to give him strong feet to walk his path (Psalm 18:33). Then he wrote Psalm 23, about how God lead him to green pasture and quiet water and how it refreshed and restored his soul. There is a lot we can learn from King David. Our lives can be hard, but God will supply all that we need, when we need it, and when we choose to follow him close, He will lead us to green pasture and He will give us living water so that we will never thirst again, even when we're in the desert seasons of our lives.

"He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights." - Psalm 18:33

Here is a story to ponder. There was a man who had a dream. He heard God speaking to him. "Press hard against the large rock". He did not understand this until the morning. He looked out from his hut and saw a huge rock that had rolled down the hillside. He began to push and push, but he could not move the rock. Throughout the day he had several attempts, but he could not move it. Convinced that God had spoken to him, he made a mission of this task and for weeks he spent some hours every day but he could not budge the rock. A traveler came by and asked him what he was doing. "God told me to move this rock" he replied. The traveler laughed and said, "You must be mistaken. You will never move a rock that large". Still the man continued his attempts to move the rock without success. Another traveler came by some weeks later and asked what he was doing. "God told me to move this rock" he replied. The traveler scorned him and said, "Your God is stupid to ask such a thing. It is impossible. Give up". That night the man turned to God in his prayer. "Lord, I have done what you asked, but the task is impossible and it seems you have made fun of me. The travelers have mocked me for believing that I could move the rock as you asked me to do". Then God spoke gently to him "My son. Look how strong your arms and legs have become; look at the rippling muscles in your back; look at the tanned hardness of your skin. Look at your increased strength. Look what has happened to you. You are stronger than you were before! I asked you to press against the rock and this you have done. I never told you to move it!" Everything God asks us to do is for our own good. Even if at the time we do not see it.

How often do I ask God to change my destination because they seem hard, I often fail to realize that God is using the journey I am on to make me a better person. When we are sick, we ask God to heal us and let us not go through the pain, but it is through pain that our body will be able to heal itself and it is through that journey that we grow closer to God spiritually. How often we ask God to just give us the answers to life and let us not go through the hardship that comes with finding out what is in the end of the tunnel and we fail to realize that the most important part of the equation is actually what we experience along the way. Our life's journey is very important and just like King David, instead of asking God to change our path, ask Him to give us strong feet to walk our path. May we all walk this life with wisdom and grace.

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