The Gift of Loneliness

3:45 a.m.

I slipped from beneath the heavy blankets, dressed in my warmest clothing, and quietly stole through the halls and staircases of the orphanage. A blast of cold air drove any remaining sleepiness away as I stepped into the dimly lit courtyard. I began walking, once around the large courtyard, twice, three times… For years this had been my favorite place and time for prayer. It was quiet, almost eerily so. The wind swayed the tops of the giant poplars that grew up between the buildings; but on the street level it was calm, sheltered from whatever storm was brewing.

Snow and ice crunched beneath my feet as I made my circuits. I prayed up and down both sides of a 3×5 card, prayed for each of the people still sleeping behind the dark windows above me, prayed for my family, for friends I hadn’t seen for years, for things in our ministry that were especially on my heart. As I finished and slipped the card into my coat pocket, a light came on above me. The world was beginning to stir.

As the trees creaked and groaned in the breeze, heaviness crept into my spirit. I reached into my pocket again, this time pulling out a set of 3×5 cards, laminated with packing tape to keep them from being ruined by the chaos of the day. I studied them for a moment, got my starting point, and quietly began quoting the verses I had been memorizing. The words came in rhythm to my steps, but my mind wasn’t on them. I heard a door open at the far end of the courtyard and turned to see a group of our staff headed out for their morning jog. I watched them disappear into the darkness beyond the front gate. I completed my circle around the courtyard, making one more attempt at the verses; but it was no use. I couldn’t focus on memorization with such a burning question in my heart.

“Lord,” the whispered word escaped as a vapor, rising through the cold air toward Heaven, “why is this school year so lonely? You warned me that last year was going to be lonely, but this year there was no warning…Knowing was much easier.”

The previous year had been difficult. The area of ministry that I had been involved in had taken me out of the normal circle of staff and friends that I had worked closely with in the past, but it had also been filled with joys and victories and approached with a heart prepared to endure the lonely hours.

This year was different. I was surrounded by people all the time, and yet I found myself deep in an incredible loneliness. Everyone was busy, having little time for real conversation. Those who did come to talk poured out their hearts but rarely asked about my own. It was the way it was. I was still content to be where I was, still happy in what the Lord had given me to do. I was just lonely—painfully lonely.

I don’t suppose I expected an immediate answer to my question, but it came. It was very simple, but so powerful it took my breath away. God said,

“Because I love you enough to want to walk alone with you.”

My eyes filled with tears as the meaning of the simple words sank into the crevices of my heart. God loved me. I knew that. But this was a new thought: He loved me enough to want to be alone with me. I had known He wasn’t allowing loneliness in order to make me miserable. I had also known that those lonely moments were opportunities to spend more time with Him. But I had never considered that He had allowed that loneliness specifically because He wanted to spend time with me. He wanted these early morning hours together as much as I did. He wanted the quiet moments as midnight approached and papers still had to be graded. He wanted the moments walking to widows’ houses with no one to accompany me. He wanted the lonely moments to Himself—because He loved me.

We all attempt to avoid loneliness. Even God said it wasn’t good for a man to be alone. That’s why He created Eve and established the institution of marriage—the supposed loneliness fix-all. Then sin came into the world, and that perfect union was no longer perfect. Loneliness found its way back in.

For some loneliness is rare, for others it may be almost constant. We try to push it away, but is it holding a gift we’ve been missing?

We each want someone who will love us enough to seek out opportunities to be alone with us. In those alone moments, we come to know one another. We don’t just learn one another’s habits or preferences—we come to know each other by heart.

That cold morning I realized that, even though loneliness was hard, God had given me a gift. He was setting aside time to be with me—because He loved me.

In Psalm 73:25,26 the psalmist says,

“Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

He had learned the beauty of walking with the Lord. He had realized that only God fills the empty space in our hearts. He knew that God was the only inheritance (portion) he needed.

Jesus frequently went out into the mountains or wilderness to be alone and to pray. His alone time was spent in the presence of God.

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23

We live in a world of constant activity. Sometimes our society makes us feel guilty if we aren’t perpetually on the go, performing great feats, conquering worlds, and establishing kingdoms. But God said, “Be still, and know that I am God…” [Psalm 46:10]

The book of Hosea tells the story of Israel and her idolatry, but it does it through the story of Hosea and his wife Gomer. Gomer was constantly running around seeking satisfaction in the arms of men other than her husband. Hosea was constantly taking her back. Their story pictured the relational situation between God and Israel at that time. Israel was constantly running off to other gods, forgetting that it was their God who, as a husband, had cared and provided for them for so many years. All the while, God was pleading with them to come back.

In Hosea 2:14 God sets out a beautiful, tender plan to draw Israel back. He said, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” He tells of the hope and the song that He is going to restore to her. And that instead of calling Him lord she will begin to call Him husband. But to get her to that point, He plans to draw her to a place with no distractions where no one will pull her attention away from Him. He is going to take her to a place where they can be alone.

Does loneliness indicate that we have been pursuing false gods? Sometimes, but it is also part of our design. God allows us to experience the emotion of loneliness, so that we will realize how much we need both Him and those around us. Sometimes that aching in our hearts is just a goad. It is God’s way of pressing us closer to Himself. The wildernesses are the places in which He wants to speak comfortably, tenderly, to us. The lonely path is where God speaks to our hearts.

We don’t generally relish the lonely moments. We don’t usually pine for them or pray, “Oh, Lord, I would just really like to be lonely today, to have that deep aching feeling of being absolutely and completely alone, to hurt with the desire for just one friend.” We just don’t do that. But the lonely moments are places of learning if we allow God to turn them into such places.

Back in Psalm 73, the psalmist went on to say, “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.” (vs. 28) So often the lonely moments produce amazing fruit when we allow God to work through them. Have you ever thought of the grain of wheat Jesus spoke of, the one that must die to produce fruit? How dark and lonely in those moments before death! How quiet and still in those moments before new life and abundant fruit springs forth!

What of the loneliness for Moses or Elijah as they waited for God to pass by, to speak? Elijah had been so lonely and discouraged that he told God to just let him die. (I Kings 19:4) But then God fed him with a meal that lasted forty days and led him to an isolated cave. A wind so strong it broke the rocks came, then an earthquake, and then a fire; but God did not come in these. Instead, He came in a still small voice. It was then that Elijah wrapped his mantle about his face and went to the mouth of the cave. In that quiet solitude, he drew near to God. Just as God promised He would do with Israel in the book of Hosea, God came tenderly to Elijah. There God told him what he was to do next and revealed He had 7,000 other men in Israel who had not bowed their knees to false gods. Elijah wasn’t as alone as he thought. From that point, he went out and finished his ministry.

James 4:8 promises “draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” What better time to draw close to Him, than in those lonely moments, but how do we do it? From this passage we see the first step is repentance and submission to God. If we have never come to Him seeking salvation we cannot draw nigh to Him. Our sin separates us. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can cover that sin. And only calling on Him in faith and repentance will bring the salvation that will restore our relationship with Him for all eternity.

If we have already come to Him for salvation, then we must ask ourselves a very serious question:

Have I been resisting the loneliness God has given me?

Loneliness is a hard gift to accept. As I have written this over the last few days, God has shown me struggles in my life and ministry that were a form of loneliness I had never seen before. Frustrations were shadows and rejections faint reminders. Decisions were burdens. The void of companionless ministry became obvious when I spent a few wonderful moments with a friend whose joyful spirit used to be a daily encouragement. I had to ask myself, “Has God been offering me a loneliness that I have been rejecting at the expense of quiet, wonder-revealing moments with Him? Have I rushed around looking for answers and solutions, not realizing that He just wanted me to sit down and rest in Him?” While I can’t answer that fully, I know there have been moments of filling the gap with effort instead of quiet prayer. God’s desire is for us, like the psalmist, to find our portion in Him. How grateful I am that James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

Loneliness isn’t a one-time test that we pass or fail. It walks a step or two behind us most of our lives, rushing forward at the most inconvenient and undesirable moments. If we let it drag us into self-pity, it will destroy us. If we let it press us closer to Christ, it is a gift.

Has God allowed lonely times in your life to show you His special love for you? What has He taught you in those lonely places?

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King's Daughter: A Story of Redemption

King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption

 

ABOUT RACHEL MILLER

I am the author of three books, including the The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption. You can check them all out here. I also run a Christian editing and writing service. Check it out and let me know how I can help you.

 

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Faith in the Forest

Last week I spent three days at a carefully chosen little campground near Laramie, WY. It was supposed to be a working vacation, but a bazillion things, expectations that I’d had of the place, didn’t come true. It wasn’t a quiet spot. In fact, it was practically in the I-80 barrow pits. Every time the wind blew, which was constantly, the swing on the front porch of the cabin swung back and forth, causing the ceiling timbers to click rhythmically. It was like being imprisoned with an overactive clock. The internet was sporadic, the water pump didn’t work, the list goes on…

My first task was to write a letter. Sounds easy enough, right? I mean, on the average day I put out between 1,000 and 4,000 words. What’s a letter? But it just wasn’t that easy. I prayed over it, wrote it, read it, and moaned. I prayed some more, rewrote it, read it, and moaned again.

After more than three hours spent with non-cooperative words and sentence structures and that constant clicking overhead, I needed a break. I knew the weather forecast for the rest of the week was bad. They were even calling for snow on Friday. So, I decided if I was going to see any of the countryside, this was the time to do it. The fresh air would help clear my mind. I could pray over the project and ask the Lord for clear direction—I had no idea how literal that prayer would become.

I headed out to a recreational area in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Once there, I parked my car and set out to find a good hiking trail. The first one came to an abrupt end after about ½ a mile. So, I went back through the parking area to a trailhead someone had mentioned along the way. The trail was beautiful: Groves of Aspen, thick underbrush, fall colors sneaking in among lush greens.

Turtle Rock Trail West

Turtle Rock Trail West

I saw a little sign that read “Campground gates close at 8pm.” It was only 2:15. I wasn’t worried about the closing time anyway. I had promised myself  I would only hike 2 hours from the time I arrived at the recreational area. I would be done by 3:40. I passed through a gate a few steps further and assumed this was the trail leading to the campground which seemed like a good target. I’d hike to the camp, turn around, and hike back.

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I was amazed at how much distance I was covering, even stopping to take pictures here and there. When I reached the halfway mark in my time, however, I still hadn’t reached a campground. I knew the first short hike had taken about 30 minutes, so I figured I could do about fifteen more before I needed to turn around.

But it was in those fifteen minutes that the trail started going places I hadn’t expected.  It started going up, then down, through boulders and around the banks of beautiful little ponds. I thought that was a little strange, but I had a good idea of where I was and wasn’t too concerned about it.

One of the most beautiful spots along the trail.

One of the most beautiful spots along the trail.

By the time the fifteen minutes were up, I had gone so far around the rock formation that I realized I wasn’t on a trail to a campground. I was on the trail that circles the rock. I decided I might as well just go on around; it would probably be shorter that way.

Turtle Rock - That's one big turtle!

Turtle Rock – That’s one big turtle!

Before long, however, I started having doubts. The trail went higher and higher. Sometimes it would disappear for ten or twenty feet, but I always seemed to find it again. I knew where the sun was and had a good idea of the direction I was headed. I knew I was going the right way, but I couldn’t figure out how the trail leading up the mountain, was going to get me back to my car 8,500 ft. below.

I walked on, and as I did the song the pastor had chosen for the prelude on Sunday floated through my mind:

“Be Thou Exalted forever and ever,

“God of Eternity, the Ancient of Days!

“Wondrous in wisdom, majestic in glory,

“Humbly we come to Thee our homage to bring.”*

I hummed it. I whistled it. I sang.

On and on the trail went, always bending just enough in the right direction to encourage me, but never quite convincing me it was going where I was going. Finally, I came to a fork in the path. It was a pretty spot. A small waterfall cascaded into a little pool of water that spilled into a creek, which tumbled down the hillside. Here, after nearly two hours of walking, was the first trail marker I had seen on the entire trek. But it was pointing in the direction from which I had come. I looked at it from several different angles, trying to decide which trail was supposed to be seeing it. It seemed like you should see it coming from the falls, but I didn’t see a path there. On the other hand, a very clear path came up behind it. So, deciding this was a switchback in the trail, I followed that clear path.

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In just a few minutes, I began to feel a sense of relief. I was going down! I rounded a corner and found myself at a small dam. I crossed the dam and instantly realized I was not on the trail. I was on a service road. At first, this fact encouraged me. I might meet up with other travelers on this road. But the further I went, the more I came to realize that the road had been abandoned. Grass, horsebrush, and sage were thick between the tire ruts. The bushes along the road showed no evidence of having been snagged by a vehicle. I tried to convince myself that one bush had lost the leaves on the tips of the branches hanging out over the road, but—it’s October. I walked on, still singing:

“Be Thou exalted by seraphs and angels,

“Be Thou exalted with harp and with song;

“Saints in their anthems of rapture adore Thee,

“Thine be the glory forever, Amen.”

The road opened out onto a large, spreading meadow. As I jumped over a small stream, I looked ahead. I could see the dirt road following the eastern most edge of the meadow and then curving around to go full west on the other side. By now, I was convinced I was not where I was supposed to be. It was well past the time I’d allotted myself. I had work to finish up and I HAD to get to my car before 8 p.m. I didn’t want to sleep in my car in a campground that I had yet to find. I looked at the meadow and made the decision any person who knows the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, would have made—I cut across the field.

The place where I had crossed the stream was its regathering point. Upstream the creek had spread itself across the full width of the lowest part of the meadow. The part I was crossing. Soon I was ankle deep in cold, mountain spring water.

Even though I came out wet, when I looked back across the meadow,  I realized that, just like many of life's trials, it was one of the most beautiful places I had seen.

Even though I came out wet, when I looked back across the meadow, I realized that, just like many of life’s trials, it was one of the most beautiful places I had seen.

Soon enough, I slogged back up onto the road and trod on, my feet sopping. After about ten minutes, I came to another fork in the road. Here, there was a sign. It had numbers on it: numbers that wouldn’t have helped me even if I had brought along the rather useless map provided at the park entrance.

I continued west, knowing that was the direction I needed to go. About ¾ of a mile and one very long hill later, I saw a gate, a parking lot, and a black truck…

Just beyond the parking lot was another crossroad. Again, I continued west, praying, “Lord, please help me to know which way to go. Help me to see familiar rock formations or landmarks.” I came through a shallow valley with several roads and paths leading off of it. I ducked down a short trail to see if I could see anything from the top of the ridge, but all I could see was trees. Wasting no time, I hurried back to the road and resumed my original direction.

By this point, I was seriously beginning to think I would be spending the night at the recreational area. I knew enough to understand that the service road had brought me much too far east to be anywhere close to where I had parked my car. I had followed it for close to two miles. I had no idea how far off the actual trail I had been when I had started down the road. I knew I had probably averaged a 22 or 23-minute mile pace. Which put me about 6 miles from my starting point. I guessed that I was probably about 3 miles east of where I was supposed to be. The road was good, but the climbs were steep. I guessed that I had a minimum of two hours back to the point where I was hoping the road would come out. By then it would be nearly seven and I would have just shy of a mile to walk to my car. I could still make it by eight…There was just one other thing…it would be dark long before eight o’clock.

As I neared the top of a long grade, I thought over the options. I had prayed everything I could think to pray, except for one thing.

“Lord,” I said out loud, “I really need a Forest Service truck.”

I walked on, but then, about 30 seconds later, I heard something. At first, I thought I was just imagining it, but then I heard it again. It was the distant rumble of tires on gravel. My first thought was the black truck in the parking lot. But then I remembered what I had just prayed. I heard the vehicle round the bend behind me, stepped off the road, and turned to look. It was a beautiful, white, Forest Service pickup…and they had an extra seat.

My estimate was about right. It was close to three miles to the place where the gravel road met the pavement at the gate to the recreational area. The FS crew dropped me off there, and I walked back to my car. It was 4:40. All that, and I was only an hour later than I had planned.

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As I thought through the day, I realized a few things. That little adventure, was very similar to many moments in life. We step onto a path, knowing God is leading in that direction. The signs are very clear. But as we continue on, we realize that we don’t know exactly where it’s going. Sometimes we lose sight of it, and we wonder if we have missed it, but then He makes it clear again.

Sometimes we get bogged down in the mire of muddy meadows, we get caught in a tangle of trees, we come to a fork and have to pray long and hard before choosing which way to go; and yet, because we let Him lead us, in the depths of our heart we know we’re going in the right direction. God’s provision to get us to the end of that path, is always just on time. And in that moment of provision, we see we did not sing in vain. In that moment, the prayer, “Be Thou Exalted” is answered.

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Are you on a path that seems to be leading in a direction you didn’t expect? Is it the way God led you? If so, just keep trusting. Keep following through the mud, the trees, the steep inclines—He never fails.

What’s your story? I’d love to hear in the comments below how God is leading you.

*Be Thou Exalted – by Fanny Crosby

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Blog Cover Pic WIP  ABOUT RACHEL MILLER

I am the author of three books, including the Walking In His Promises, devotional journal. You can check them all out here. I also run a Christian editing and writing service. I hope you all you writers will check it out and let me know how I can help you.

Moses and the Identity Crisis

IMG_1957This week, I have finally been able to add a little extra treat to my morning quiet times. I’ve been able to get back to work on “Where the Myrrh Grows.” As I’ve been working on it I have been struck by something I had never noticed before.

Moses has been one of my favorite Bible characters for a very long time. His desire to know God has always inspired me to seek to do the same. God honored him as a man of meekness, but He wasn’t always that way.

As I began looking at his days in the wilderness, I had to start at the logical place – the event that led him there. One impulsive act, which to him appeared to be the right thing at the moment, changed his life forever. But as I read over the story, I saw a heart conflict in him that I had never seen before.

Was Moses having an identity crisis?

Many years after Moses lived, Mordecai told his cousin Esther that God had brought her into the kingdom “for such a time as this.”* I can’t help but think that the same sentiment had probably surrounded Moses for most of his life. Rescued from the river by Pharaoh’s daughter, raised by his Hebrew mother, given a place of honor in the Pharaoh’s palace – he was positioned perfectly to relieve the persecution and affliction of his people. But how was he to go about it?

In a sense, he was what missionaries sometimes refer to as a “third culture kid.” He was Hebrew, but brought up in an Egyptian world. The result was that he didn’t quite fit in either world. His was a culture all its own. He had been raised among the judges and rulers of the land, but sought to identify with his own people who were little better than slaves. He wanted to fulfill the purpose for which God has rescued Him from the Nile. He seemed to know what that purpose was, but he failed in its application. Instead of bringing the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew before Pharaoh and seeking justice, Moses killed him – and thus began his wilderness experience.

Many of us understand our purpose, but don’t know how to apply it. Fortunately, no matter how badly we mess up it doesn’t usually end in murder. But finding the application of our purpose – the way we’re supposed to work out whatever God has called us to – can be difficult, frustrating and even damaging to ourselves and others when we miss the mark. It can easily be the beginning of a wilderness.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Seeing how trying to reach the standards, guidelines, expectations, and methods for life and ministry set by others – though they be very godly men and women – can actually derail and hinder what God had planned. Not because there is anything wrong with any of those requirements and expectations. Not because they are unworthy goals, but because seeking to meet those expectations was a box into which my purpose and calling didn’t fit.

When Moses ran into the wilderness and finally had a moment’s rest, he must have looked back at the event that had gotten him there and thought, “Man, I really messed up. I completely failed at what God wanted me to do.” And he was probably right. But God took him into that wilderness to teach him what he would later need in order to fulfill that purpose. When he learned how to properly live out what God wanted him to do, God was glorified and the people of Israel were delivered.

The same is true in our lives. It is easy to look at what we feel is expected of us and assume that it is part of God’s will for our lives, but the expectations of others are not the guide God has established for our lives. He wants to lead us by His Word and the Holy Spirit. Though it is not always the case, sometimes when we add those expectations to the mix, what we are really doing is adding an unnecessary weight of stress.  God has laid out his guidelines for our lives in Scripture; that should be our first standard for living. Living a life guided by the expectations of others, no matter how good those expectations, can cause us to completely miss what God actually wanted us to be doing – trying to do both has the potential to destroy us physically, mentally, and spiritually.

How about you? Has God shown you His purpose for your life? Are you carrying it out in His way, your own way, or the way you feel others are expecting you to carry it out? Only one of the three options is the right way.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6

*Esther 4:14

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ABOUT RACHEL MILLER

I am the author of three books, including the In All Thy Ways Devotional Journals. You can check them all out here. I also run a Christian editing and writing service. Check it out and let me know how I can help you.

 

 

 

The Best Cracker EVER!

I want to share something very special with you, my friends. I want to tell you about a cracker. Yes, that’s right, a cracker.

But I have to tell you a bit of background story first. Five years ago, I was able to spend a month and a half at a children’s home in a former soviet country in Central Asia. Most of the children there are Russian speaking, so, since I speak Russian, we had an almost instant bond. For five long years, I have wanted to go back. Twice, one of the missionaries called me up and asked if I could come on short notice, but then they called back a couple days later and said issues had resolved themselves; we didn’t need to plan the trip. A couple of times, I have looked into going for summer camp, but it has never worked. This year was different. This year it looked like it might just happen…

$6000. That’s what the “direct” flight costs from my hometown. I put “direct” in quotes because there’s nothing direct about it (How many layovers was that again?). And then comes the indirect route, $4000—(Oh, and did we mention they’re rioting in the streets of the city where you’ll be changing planes?) Last is the, well, we’ll just call it what it is – the redneck route. Two, maybe three, separate itineraries that don’t quite meet up, all neatly pieced together with duct tape…Still nearly $4000, and it doesn’t quite work, even if you kick it.

That was the reality I faced Wednesday morning. My travel agent and I emailed back and forth several times until finally I had to say, “Well, we tried.” I knew nothing else could be done. We had checked every possible route and none of them were feasible. I hit the send button and stared at the computer. I picked up my phone and texted my sisters. I told my dad/pastor that the trip wasn’t going to happen. I messaged one of the missionaries (who is currently in the States), and then I found myself alone with reality slowly sinking over me. I wasn’t going. I wasn’t going to see the children, to find out how they have grown, to hear about what God has been teaching them or to share what He has been teaching me. I wasn’t going to be meeting the new children who have come since I was there last. I wouldn’t get to see the caregivers who made me feel so welcomed and for whom I have prayed so many times. How would I ever write that email…

I decided I needed to give it a bit of time. It was well past noon, so lunch would most definitely put me in better shape to take on the task. But as soon as I headed out to fix a sandwich, I realized I was in no state of mind to face people. My heart was broken, and no matter how hard I tried I wasn’t going to be able to hold back its weeping. I bowed to thank the Lord for my food, but I found that I couldn’t talk to Him without tears. I wiped my eyes with the napkin that had been under my sandwich and muttered something about needing a plate instead.

In a few minutes, the activity around me had quieted. I sat at the table with my tuna fish and my Cheez-its, struggling not to let the situation get the best of me, and failing miserably. Was it me? Had I done something wrong, or missed something that I should have done? This was the second time in two months that I’d had to cancel a trip. That’s close to 250 children I had just let down. I felt like such a failure. I wanted nothing more than to go hide in a park with my Bible, where I could figure things out, but it was about to rain. I also had emails to write, the kind I didn’t want to write. Like the showers that came later, tears were already splashing intermittently down my shirt and onto my plate. I kept wiping them away, hoping no one would notice.

I picked up a cracker and was about to eat it when something caught my eye. I looked again. The hole in the center of the cracker was misshapen – in the perfect shape of a heart. I knew it was a gift from my Lord. The tears won.

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I can think of few moments in my life when I have felt loved as strongly as I felt it in that moment. How undeserving of His love I am, and yet He loves me. I fail, I stumble, I plan trips that fall through, and yet He loves me… He loves you.

Don’t miss His love by staring into your failures, I almost did.

This is the first post on this site, but it is not the post I had intended to share first. That post was going to touch on the primary topic of the book I recently started writing: The purposes of the wilderness. But this illustrates it so much more beautifully. You see, one of the purposes of the wilderness is that we might come to know our God. And that little patch of wilderness, complete with its dry, ol’ cracker did just that – it reminded me of the depth of His love.

It brings Song of Solomon 3:6 to mind: “Who is that that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?”

If you’ve read my first book then you probably already have an idea of why Wednesday’s events would remind me of this passage. In The King’s Daughter we saw the beauty of myrrh, in Where The Myrrh Grows we’ll see the beauty of the harsh climate in which it flourishes. SOS 3:6 connects the two.

I’ve always had a strange mental picture associated with this passage. Way off in the distance, just beyond the heat waves rising from the desert floor, comes a chariot with clouds of dust billowing up behind it. The driver is the Knight in Shining Armor, the Prince Charming to beat all princes charming – It is the King. He comes valiantly, ready to declare His victory and retell of His triumphant exploits.

I’ve always seen Him as being on the return from some great conquest, but Wednesday I saw Him coming to the rescue. I had just wandered into the wilderness of deep disappointment, and He, with that beautiful fragrance that marks Him as my King, came to wrap His strong arms about me and to strengthen me…there is no stronger embrace.

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King's Daughter: A Story of Redemption

King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption

 

ABOUT RACHEL MILLER

I am the author of three books, including The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption. You can check them all out here. I also run a Christian editing and writing service. Check it out and let me know how I can help you.