When Life Seems too Difficult…

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I often listen to audio sermons while cleaning the house. I am able to get the many ‘necessary’ things done, while engaging my mind and furthering my understanding of spiritual matters. For the most part, this is a purely intellectual exercise – increasing my knowledge of scripture, but not really leading to transformative change. Since I am busy, I often neglect to quiet myself before God and ‘listen’ to what He might have to say to my heart on the matter. Every once in a while though, I sense God breaking through the monologue, speaking His truth into my reality.

This was my experience recently. I was listening to a message that A.W. Tozer had preached in early 1956. I love Tozer’s passion for experiencing God in an intimate way, listening and responding to the Holy Spirit within us, and living the abundant life that God promises us. I was thrilled to discover that many of his messages are accessible online, and was immediately drawn to a four part series about living the abundant life.

The message was based on the experiences of the children of Israel following their deliverance from Egypt. Maybe you know the story. The Israelites had journeyed through the wilderness, and had arrived just outside of the Promised Land. A group of twelve men, leaders from each tribe, were sent to spy on the land and to report on what they had seen. When they returned, all of the men raved about how bountiful the land was. There was an abundance of water, which was not the case in the wilderness they had just traveled through. Water represented life. An abundance of water would provide an abundant life. They would not have to struggle to survive. There were delicious fruits such as pomegranates and grapes. A single cluster of grapes that the men brought back was so massive that it took two of them to carry it. There were figs, which were a luxury item. Something simply to enjoy. It was a land flowing with milk and honey. All of the men agreed that this land was bountiful, filled with both necessary provisions and an abundance of luxuries. It was truly a land of promise.

 

White grapes

Ten of the men, however, advised against moving forward with God’s plan to take possession of the land. They claimed that the city walls reached to the heavens. They focused on the ‘giants’ who inhabited the land, men who were numerous and powerful.

These men were afraid.

They allowed the darkness of fear to distract them from the wonderful promises God had made to them. They were quick to forget the wonders God had performed so recently in their lives, freeing them from the bondage of slavery, and rescuing them from the pursuing Egyptian army.

These men recognized the beauty of what God was offering them, but were not willing to trust in his goodness to deliver on the promise. The path God was calling them to follow appeared dangerous, and they refused to move forward in obedience. Although the wilderness was harsh, dry and unpleasant, and their enslavement in Egypt was oppressive beyond words, they felt a degree of safety in the known. Fear clouded their perception. They forgot the truth of who God is – that he is good, that he always keeps his promises, and that he has plans to prosper his children and not to harm them.

It is easy for us to question what they must have been thinking; to ponder in disbelief how they could so easily have forgotten all that God had just done for them. And yet, are we any different?

I sensed God convicting me of this same tendency in my own life. The willingness to settle. We are glad that we have been rescued from an eternity separated from God. We are thankful that God sent Jesus to die in our place, to redeem us and claim us as his own. But how often do we put the brakes on his plans for us because they seem too difficult. We evaluate our situation based on our own resources, forgetting that God is our strength and that he will equip us for whatever he calls us to do. We allow fear to distract us. Just as Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off of Christ, we lose our focus on Jesus and become overwhelmed by the realities around us.

God has promised us the abundant life. The Spirit-filled life. Life that is drenched with joy, and overflowing with peace. Let us not be satisfied with living in the wilderness. Relieved that we have been saved from destruction, but too fearful to walk into all that he has in store for us. May we take the time to quiet ourselves before God, and listen for his still, small voice – believing his promises, walking in obedience into all he calls us to do, and embracing the riches that are ours in Christ Jesus.

The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.

Isaiah 58:11

May God richly bless you, dear one, out of the glorious riches of his grace,

About the Author

Hi, my name is Kamea. I am sharing my story of being restored by my loving heavenly Father over at incrementalhealing.wordpress.com  Why incremental healing you might ask? Why not instantaneous, inexplicable, miraculous healing? Well, the truth is, that is simply not my reality. At the tender age of five, my innocence was completely shattered through the selfishness of others. I have struggled for most of my life with shame, guilt, and rejection, among other issues.  Several years ago, I sensed God prompting me to face my past. Since then, I have been actively pursuing healing, both emotionally and spiritually. The process has been slow and incredibly painful. There have been breakthroughs and victories, but many days are a struggle. Maybe you can relate.  It is my sincere hope that you would be encouraged by my story, knowing that you are not alone. May you be inspired to persevere through the hard places of your own journey!

photo credit: rajkumar1220 via photopin

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Comments

  1. Kamea,
    Thank you for reminding us of God’s promise…that He promises us an abundant life full of joy and peace. We have to STOP and listen, though. We have to remember to break from our hectic lives and soak in all His love. Blessings, Kamea!

    • Sweet Laura,

      How very true! We have to quiet ourselves before our loving, heavenly Father and listen to His words of love for us, and walk in obedience into all that He asks us to do. It is then, as we walk closely by His side, that we will experience the fullness of His blessing!

      Much love,
      Kamea

  2. I love your honesty in this piece. Sometimes I lose focus of all that God has. Thanks for reminding me! Visiting from #TellHisStory!

    • It is so easy to lose sight of all that He has in store for us, isn’t it Becky? He loves us so very much, and has a wonderful plan to bless us and not to harm us. He has made so many beautiful promises to us. Let’s believe Him for those promises!

      Many blessings,
      Kamea

  3. I know that God enables me to live a spirit-filled abundant life. In the trenches of daily living sometimes the hope of that promises is dim but reminders like this propel me to press through the fog to bask in His light. Happy to be connecting from #RaRaLinkUp

    • Sweet Tyra,

      How true that the hope of His promise of living an abundant life can be dim in the midst of the struggles of this world. But what He promises He will do! I love the encouragement that comes from walking in community with other believers, when we can strengthen and encourage one another to persevere.

      Many blessings,
      Kamea

  4. Thank you so much for posting my article. I have only been blogging since November, and am very excited to have joined the blogging world. I have ‘met’ so many wonderful people, and look forward to connecting with more new friends here at Blogs by Christian Women.

    I’d love if you’d check out my blog on healing from childhood abuse at incrementalhealing.wordpress.com

    I’d love it if you’d introduce yourself and tell me a little about your blog!

    Blessings,
    Kamea

    • The post gave me much to be prayerful about, but the information you shared as the author was truly inspiring. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share with others how you allow God to heal you from these life-changing experiences. Thanks so much! Debra Seiling

      • Thank you for your kind words Debra. I am glad that you found the information I shared in the author section inspiring. I would love it if you’d visit my blog and read more about the wonderful ways God is redeeming my brokenness for good!
        Blessings,
        Kamea

        • I had read Kamea’s guest post on Blogs by Christian Women and decided to read her blog, which is very moving! It is very admirable that she shares posts like A Season of Despair… with others so that they, too, might feel God’s tender embrace and healing in their lives.

          • Yes, my heart longs to share the hope and comfort that I have received. There is also a measure of comfort in seeing purpose in the pain.

            Thank you for your encouragement Debra.
            Blessings,
            Kamea

          • I don’t think it is either, but it’s truly inspiring when you think that God can use some of the bad things that happen to people to effect a positive change on His behalf in their life and the lives of others. It takes someone very special to open up on such a vulnerable topic and I admire her willingness to share, so that others may be healed and feel Christ’s healing touch, as well. Debbie

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