27 April 2007

A Word From the Wilderness: Part 1

As my week of retreat draws to its inevitable close, my head is swimming. The time has been all that I prayed for, and more. How like our Father to exceed even our grandest hopes and expectations!

I went into this week with open hands, letting God direct the time as He would, asking only for rest and refreshment. He provided what I asked and infinitely more than I could describe were I given one hundred posts to detail it all. My heart is full; my head ... oh, my head. I don't think I will ever be able to wrap my mind around the displays of grace, the unexpected provisions, and the overarching sense of God's heart of goodness and love toward me.

He spoke, and I listened. On bended knees I asked, and He provided. I begged that I might see, and He revealed a glimpse of His glory to me.

At first glance, this wilderness time seemed like a vast and empty expanse. As I embarked upon this voyage, I had little idea what I would encounter and the mystery of what lay ahead was not met without some trepidation.

But Jesus met me there. He showed me streams of water and nourishment in the most unexpected places. I found delight as a child in His presence, beheld wild and astonishing beauty, and welcomed the invitation simply to be, to sit at His feet and listen intently, absorbing every word like a thirsty sponge.

But make no mistake: where God is doing a good work, where a soul is moving toward God, the enemy sweeps in from behind and launches an attack. Each day has been met with varying acts of aggression ranging from mere irritants and distractions to piercing assaults on my soul. The enemy is fond of dredging up sins from the past, long ago forgiven. He holds it in cupped hands like a precious gem, rubbing our noses in it so we can inhale its stench, whispering to us of how dirty we are, causing us to question our worth and perhaps even making us doubt that God's grace is big enough to cover that sin. There is a good reason one of his names is the accuser.

Jesus met me even in this awful place, reminding me that while consequences may naturally follow from past actions, I am covered with the blood of Christ. The Father looks at me and sees the righteousness of the One who saved me. I made no agreements with the whispers of the enemy, claiming instead the refuge of the Almighty. One might come who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He succeeded in surprising me, but skulked away empty-handed.

It will take no short stretch of time to distill all that took place in the wilderness, and in the coming weeks (likely months) I will highlight the places where I met with God, and He with me. And so I return, and will speak for you all I have seen and heard.


  1. This is beautiful, Kirsten. I really look forward to learning all the things He said and showed to you.

  2. wonderful, kirsten, to hear of God's faithfulness during this time that you took. i, like christianne, am looking forward to hearing all about it! :)

    and, man, do i know about satan's attempts at rubbing your nose in your past. that's one of his favorite tools..... glad to hear, also, that he went away empty-handed! :)

  3. Thank you for your positive feedback and encouragement, Christianne & Blue. I covered about 50 journal pages in teeny-tiny print over the course of the week, so we'll see if I can break it out enough so I can make a series of coherent posts about it.

    Stay tuned! ...