He makes beautiful things©

The words to the song keep running through my mind today;  “You make beautiful things out of dust.”  They begin to sink in as I consider this desert.  He makes beautiful things out of the dust of this place…

Often the wilderness feels like what it is, a solitary, lonely uninhabited, desolate place. Some days I look around and see the sand dunes that seem to go on forever.  I begin to wonder if I will ever escape this setting.  Will I ever see the fertile lands where milk and honey flow?

I’ve had opportunity to be in this setting for some time now.  Tears have been a familiar companion at those times where the loneliness tries to suck me in.  But here in this place Jesus has met me.  For He understands the wilderness better than anyone.  His journey took Him there too.

The Spirit of God led Him into the wilderness.  Satan waited for Him there.  He wanted to get Jesus to renounce what He believed.  Instead Jesus connected in deeply with the truth.

The wasteland can have that effect.  The vastness of it calls into question everything you have believed.  It looks like you’ve been left to yourself.  After all why would a God who loves to give good gifts lead anyone into this?

The barren lands have challenged me greater than any other time in my life.   It’s where the rubber has met the road.  Will I call good what God calls good even when it doesn’t look good?  Will I believe that He is good apart from anything I see or don’t see?  What is it I believe about Him anyways? And what about me, what does He think of me?  What is the truth?

It’s easy to believe when living in the time of harvest.  After all the fruit is everywhere for the picking.  Something’s always ripe and ready to be enjoyed.  But it’s the wilderness that allows the seed to find its home.  Doubt allows me to wrestle with what I put my confidence in giving way for faith to grow.  With each opportunity to believe the soil swallows the seed more fully allowing the roots to dig in deep.

Truth has to make its way in for freedom to be realized.  It’s one thing to know it, it’s another to allow it to make its home in me.  I’ve known a lot of truth through the years yet not much of it set me free.  The past with all it’s garbage restrained me on the gerbil wheel of performance causing the words to miss their mark.

Jesus told those sitting around him that they would know the truth and it would bring them freedom.  The idea of knowing is translated as the Jewish idiom for the intimate act of sex between a man and a woman.  The truth is not just something I have knowledge of, it is something I must embrace as my own.  I see it clearly now.  This desolate place has given way for that.

The performance came to a halt.  His voice started to become the voice in my head.   He asked me to leave my past behind and receive the forgiveness He offered.  I could not live in my present under the ties of my past.  He invited me to embrace the identity He had bestowed on me.  It was my own.  He asked me to lay the work of my hands down and receive His in me.  He is the author of life, the perfector, the finisher.  He will complete what He has begun.

There is no other way to freedom than to embrace truth as my own.  It is the path to life.

In the vastness of this desert I’ve begun to find my true self, the one that God made to be.  In this place where all seems lost something magical is happening.  He is making beautiful things out of dust.


6 thoughts on “He makes beautiful things©

  1. I love your gift of words Julie!!! It’s when I want to underline something on the computer like I do in my books that I know you have something truly special here.

    “Truth has to make its way in for freedom to be realized”

    That’s it! So many things in this culture vie for our attention, so many voices scrambling for our loyalty, and yet 99.9% of them bring with them a bondage that is not seen at first. Even if they look “good” or “Christian” initially.

    I love the perspective from which you write. And I love you!

  2. Julie, I finally found the time to read your post and actually pay attention. Is it the drought that is making everyone talk about the desert? Because I am seeing it all over the place. I have a small suspicion that God is leading His people – as a group, although it doesn’t feel organized by human standards – into a desert to prepare us. Prepare us for what? “The End”? Revival? I have no idea. But it isn’t that far-fetched, since Jesus spent His time in the desert as preparation.

    My dear friend Rebekah is right – you have a wonderful way with words. The sentence that caught me is the one right after the one she quoted, “It’s one thing to know it, it’s another to allow it to make its home in me.” Thank you for putting words to my struggle. I have “known” the truth for years. Allowing it to makes its home in me is another story altogether. Especially since I am afraid of intimacy, even with Christ. Wow. Didn’t quite expect that admission to come flying out, but there it is. No need to delete it now.

    And since this desert them has shown up again, I will once again share my favorite desert quote: “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    much love, xoxo,

    • Carolyn,
      Thank you for your words of affirmation. I love the quote about the desert… I’m so ready to find the well. I just keep trusting it’s there! Thank you for being here and offering your heart… It matters!

  3. Shalom Julie…

    One thing that amazed and still amazes me to this day is the amount of life that’s “out there” in the desert. Reading this and the comment above I realized that in another manner of speaking, that’s where our life is as well. He sustains us. Our Living Water. Read once in a blog elsewhere that heaven is a place for prepared people. But your post gave me pause to consider as well about those folks that wandered around for forty years. I know there’s those out there that say that they didn’t have to be out there that long. But this morning (now) I think….(wonder) otherwise.

    • Josiah, thank you for your perspective…. Yes without His living water I would surely die of thirst. Somedays I can get a glimpse of what those wanderers must have felt… Thanks for being here!

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