Thriving in the Desert

sherjc.com_leaf_road_cirThis is the final post in a 3-part series. Read part 1: Alone in the Desert.

Like navigating the open terrain of a physical desert environment, it’s critical to recognize your desert and respond accordingly. As those familiar with the desert know, it can be a lonely place. You can easily buy one of the many lies of Satan that you are alone, no one understands you, and that God brought you here to die. But that’s not true. God is always with you and will never abandon you. He’s got an amazing, special plan for each of our lives, including our desert experience, and He’s gracious to give us everything we need to thrive. Continue reading

“But Note Joseph…”

But note Joseph’s words: “it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:8). Neither treacherous siblings nor a woman’s lust nor the shame of prison nor a cupbearer’s neglect could thwart the purpose of God (Job 42:2) in preserving God’s people (Genesis 45:7) and fulfilling a prophecy given to Abraham (Genesis 15:13). God made evil the slave of his grace.

And he’s doing the same for you. God is doing more good than you can imagine through the most painful experiences of your life.

– Jon Bloom, “Your Sin Is No Match for God’s Grace” on Desiring God
(emphasis mine; I highly recommend reading the rest!)

A Thankful Heart in Chiang Rai

9:01 p.m., Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai

It’s my last night in Thailand, and I’m here at the local night bazaar, finally sitting down for a late dinner. Chicken soup and 7-Up are on the menu today. I’m afraid it’s all that’s sounded good. I almost made it through my whole trip without incident until I got sick yesterday. =( Let’s just say that last night was not fun. =( x2 A combination of getting too much sun (not advisable when on the anti-malaria meds I’m taking) and eating something that sat out a bit did me in.

But praise God even in the midst of feeling completely miserable. Why? Well, I was planning to leave Chiang Mai for Chiang Rai Monday morning instead of today, but felt the slightest hesitation. Even as I was trying to book a room for the 2 nights I had planned to be in Chiang Rai, I kept hitting a brick wall in my search. Hours later, I decided to give up and resume on Monday morning. Continue reading

I Am the Older Son Too

Reflections on Luke 15:11-32

After reading Jesus’ story of the prodigal son, I’m struck with how much I resonate with this character. As the prodigal, I’ve left the Father to go my own way and take life into my own hands only to make a mess of things and find that life is not there.  Will I return home a slave thinking I will only find acceptance and forgiveness if I remorsefully come to You as an indentured servant?  Or will I return home humbly accepting Your love, grace, and compassion for me despite what I’ve done, seeing myself through Your eyes as one who stands forgiven because of the righteousness I have in Christ? Continue reading