God Leads us into the Desert

So I am reading Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge and it is reminding me of lots of stuff from my journey through Wild at Heart. I also hope I am learning something about the heart of a woman too, so that I can open my eyes up more to who Meredith is, but also so that I can help the girls in my youth group understand more who they are as girls of God.

Anyway, I was reading today and they were talking about how sometimes God hems us in so that we will turn to him. In Hosea God says he will place thorn bushes in our paths so that we will go to him. When we are in the middle of those situations it almost seems cruel that God would use the destruction of things that we love in order to get us to run to him. That is until we remember that the things that we love apart from him ultimately can’t satisfy us and will leave us empty and alone if we keep placing our trust in them. It is when we forget that only God can satisfy that we think him mean.

So I was trying to find a good way to teach that to my students. I don’t know if it would be for this lesson, or for something else, but here is what I came up with.

Maggie is 5 years old. She is presently in Orlando, FL sitting on the bed in a small hotel room. She is watching TV and pretending to play old maid with a deck of cards she found.

“Maggie, it’s time to go,” her mom says.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Maggie responds, “I’m having fun here”

“Don’t you want to go to Disney World and see Mickey mouse?”

“No, not really, I’m having fun.”

“But you will have more fun at Disney.”

“Whatever.” Maggie says and turns back to her game.

Her mother gets stern and says, “Young lady put your shoes on right now, we are going.”

Was Maggie’s mom being mean? Should she have just let her daughter keep sitting on the bed and miss out on Disney?

Her mom had a perspective that she didn’t have. Her mom understood that while Maggie might cry for a moment if made to leave the hotel room, there was a whole day of fun waiting that was more than Maggie could understand.

But from Maggie’s perspective her mom was just being mean. It isn’t until we are on the other side of the situation that we can understand God’s heart. It isn’t until we look back that we understand that what seemed like devastating at the time was actually the one thing we needed to find joy.

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