Trusting the Lord and obeying involves our will. Trusting the Lord and hoping involves our heart.
Man, do I know the feeling of, “Where exactly are you taking them? Because this looks like a foreign land, in fact, much like a desert!” That feeling of worry as you watch your child, or someone you love, walk through a difficult situation or process can be frightening and painful. This morning, while praying for several different friends, the Lord used a scripture to speak profound truth to me.
“Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards. And will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth…” Hosea 2:14-15
No one likes the desert. It’s hot. The scenery is lacking. The food is bland and there is a lot of grumbling, just ask Moses. It is difficult when you notice your own scenery start to change and realize that you are walking into a desert. But it is most difficult to watch as your child heads that direction! I love the word choice here, “I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert”. When I think of being “allured” or “lead” I am thinking beach all the way!
But as I really consider it, though there are lots of negatives at least in my mind about the desert, there is something beautiful about it as well. There are few distractions. Over and over in God’s Word we see that He is moving us into a place of alone-ness with Him. He desires to remove our distractions so that our focus can be fully on Him. It would appear to me that by the way the verse is worded, we may dread the experience, but it is beautiful to Him.
When you see your loved one entering a desert season, encourage yourself with this scripture. He is never harsh or condemning. Even in difficult moments, He is always loving and merciful. He will speak tenderly to that darling of yours. It’s just that sometimes He refuses to allow our children (or us) to avoid dealing with a circumstance or situation and so He leads us gently to the desert. Where He can speak tenderly to us. He leads us to the place He can love us.
The “Valley of Achor” means the valley of trouble. So the verse is literally saying, “I will make the valley of trouble a door of hope.” That is beautiful to me this early morning. To realize that our very valley of trouble can be transformed into a door of hope and oh the singing and celebration that will commence!
As we enter 2022, I will choose to trust my God and allow my heart to hope again. I am asking the Father to help me to be courageous enough in this new year not just to obey but to allow my heart to hope.
My heart is so tender toward you today.
Praying for you,