Turning the Desert into Pools of Water and the Parched Ground into Springs

Good Morning, Everyone!

I’m back here on The Journey, forcing my feet to return to the path leading to victory over spiritual distraction. How ironic. And perfect. 100_9892

I have confessed the need to settle my mind, root my soul, and eliminate the pull of distractions.  Of course, the past few days have been full of distractions. In repose, this morning the LORD helped remind me of the discipline of setting small goals, and boundaries for them. I could sit here on the Praying Porch for hours, and ponder all that is glorious and beautiful about our God, as expressed in His creation.

“The poor and needy search for water,
    but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
    and the parched ground into springs.
I will put in the desert
    the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
    the fir and the cypress together,
so that people may see and know,
    may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
    that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”  Isaiah 41:17-20

Oh, yes.

I could dig into His precious word and write my soul’s response, for the entire day.  I could also jump up at least 30 times in as many minutes to ‘take care of’ something that catches my eye or my mind.

This is going to be a very long and difficult battle.

I am determined, however to set my mind on things above. (Colossians 3:1,2)

And “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (Paul, again, it astounds me the way the LORD placed these words in you!) 2 Cor. 10:5.

So, yeah, this is a major spiritual battle of mine, which I’ve recognized for a long time, but have been too distracted to do anything about (stop rolling your eyes, please, I realize how ironic that is!)

Today I set the alarm for 30 minutes. That’s all I got. 30 focused, not-getting-up-for-anything, not-paying-attention-to-Facebook notification chimes minutes. To mediate on and pray my way through this journey whose goal is to remove Distraction’s power from my life, as it renders me essentially ineffective and splintered. When I do not engage in this, as though in warfare,  my mind focuses on the wheel-spinning overwhelm of all that I haven’t, all the needs, all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘maybes’. Then time slips away, and with it, opportunity and blessings.

Our Savior speaks peace in the battle: “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Matthew 6:34

So, here is Day Two’s Action Against Distraction:

Determine a reasonable goal for success and give it boundaries. Perhaps set a timer. Pray against the temptation to go beyond that, or to interrupt it. Praise God for success and company in that time.

I chose to return to the discipline of studying and writing, because it is a tool that has proven to be empowering for me. That power does not come, in any way, shape, or form, from myself, but from the LORD. It’s one of the ways He works in me. Writing helps me hold onto His promises and work through the challenges. Allow God to find for you your own meeting place and avenue of growth. How does He gather you close? How does He work to spill that closeness over to others He loves? Set a reasonable, God-centered goal and embrace that time. Protect that time with prayer.

In sharing my journeys, I have chosen to live transparent, and call on you to help me keep walking. A listening community provides accountability (ugh, I’m not really comfortable with that, but realize it’s like medicine—good for me, even if it’s tough to swallow.) I am really, really hoping some of you out there, if you happen to pop in, have your own “Distraction Journey” successes and struggles you can share so we can lift each other along.

I am praying for you, and me, that we remain singularly focused on living in the world, but not of the world. I pray that we recognize the weaknesses of our own bodies and minds as exactly the spots targeted by Satan who loves to lie about what’s important and needful. I am confident, that as we draw near to the throne of grace, God will grant us victory, and work powerfully in our lives for His glory.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (Don’t forget the good part just before this: we have a high priest in Christ who can sympathize with our weaknesses!)101_0135

I’ll be back later. The timer has gone off. I feel strong, joyous, and grateful for these 30 minutes of success!

Blessings be on you and your day as you, too, wrestle with whatever distracts you from God’s quiet whispers of love and strength.

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About An Earthen Vessel--Terri Apgar

Wife of one, mother of three, so grateful for God's grace--that's me. I'm just tucked into my bay window, opening my heart to God and trying to be brave about letting Him use all that He has crafted inside me to His glory.
This entry was posted in Distraction, Spiritual Drought, Spiritual Transformation, The Walk, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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