This has really been a bittersweet month for us in Zimbabwe. As you might have heard, our economy is really struggling again and we see the full effects of this problem on the lives of our leaders and the kids we reach out to. It is very hard right now to find a group of Zimbabweans that still hold onto Him, and for those that still do it is a daily exercise of seeking reminders of God’s promises.
I was reminded of something amazing in my devotional yesterday that I thought you would love to read. It’s not too long.
He took me out in the desert to an immense valley surrounded by reddish mountains, which turned increasingly purple and blue as they extended out into the far distance.
“What words come to your mind,” said the teacher, “when you look at the desert wilderness?”
“Dry …barren …hot …austere …severe …hard …forbidding …”
“And when people go through hard times – times of loss, crisis, tragedy, loneliness, conflict, hardship, problems, separation, tears – they speak of going through the wilderness. And yet the wilderness is a holy place. It was in a desert wilderness that God gave His Law, His Word, and where He revealed His presence. The wilderness is holy.”
“So the hard times in our lives are holy?”
“For those who are His children, yes.”
“In Hebrew, the wilderness is called the midbar. Midbar comes from the root ward dabar. And dabar means to speak. What is the wilderness? It is the midbar. And what is the midbar? It is the place of God’s speaking, the place of His voice. It’s where God especially talks to us. Why did He bring His people into the wilderness, into the midbar? So He could speak to them. He brought Moses into the midbar to speak to him in a still, small voice. So too He brings us into the wilderness that He might speak to us.”
“What is it about the wilderness that makes it the place of God’s speaking?”
“Look around you,” he said. “What do you see?”
“Rock, sand, mountains – not much.”
“That’s why,” said the teacher. “God speaks, but we don’t hear. We have too many distractions. But in the wilderness the distractions are gone. So God brings us to the wilderness that we might hear His voice. Therefore, do not fear or despise the wilderness of your life, and don’t despise His removing of the distractions. Rather embrace it. Draw closer to Him. And listen to what He is saying. Seek to hear His voice, and you will hear Him. For the wilderness in your life is not just a wilderness. It is holy ground …the midbar …the place of His voice.”
Having read this I am reinforced in my belief that Zimbabwe is in the perfect place for us to hear God speak and see Him move in our midst. I actually know that we are in a holy place because of what I have seen happen with our ministry in Young Life. In the midst of a hard time the Lord has blessed our ministry with leaders that hear God’s voice and boldly act on it. I also pray that in the midst of any wilderness you go through may you hear God’s voice loud and clear in your lives.
Please continue to pray with us as we make final preparations to take over 3000 kids to hear the Gospel shared at over 11 camps nationally.