The Wilderness By Pastor Dave Poole

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

(Lamentations 3: 22-23)

There have been times in my life where I have felt so small, and so alone. It felt like everything in my life had faded to grey and that I was in the middle of a barren land. Like those scenes in a movie where the main character is stumbling through the desert, finally falling to their knees in the sand, overcome with exhaustion, looking up at the hot sun. I’ve been there distinctly twice in my life.

The first time was when I was a little boy sitting on the edge of my bed, face buried in my hands, exhausted from running from another barrage of insults and torment from my childhood bullies. My dad had died 6 years earlier, and did I ever miss him, wishing he could just hold me and comfort me and tell me that the words were just lies, that the insults weren’t true about me.

The second time was as a 25-year-old man, standing alone in the corner of the gym. The barbell hung on the rack bending with the pounds loaded onto it, I stood holding onto the bar with my head hung down just weeping. Others navigated their way around me, with their earbuds in and workout music pushing them on. I was weeks into my battle with testicular cancer and I had received the news days earlier, that they believed the cancer had spread, that the surgery hadn’t removed the cancer. I finally broke. The thoughts of leaving my beautiful wife behind with no one, no kids, no protector was too much for me.

It was like I could feel the hot sand against my knees, the sun beating down on my neck and the thirst screaming out to be quenched.

As I prepare for Easter I remember those times. I remember because the story didn’t end there. Both as a little boy and as a grown man, when I was beat down and all hope seemed lost a hand reached out to me. I grabbed it and Jesus lifted me to my feet. He then walked with me step by step guiding me, encouraging me and loving me. Just like Lamentations 3: 22-23 says, I was not consumed by the pain of this world. I was enveloped in God’s compassion. A compassion that is shown through the gift of His son Jesus Christ. A compassion that means that not only do we have eternal life with Jesus, but we have a full life today.

What are the moments that you need to reflect on, where you can see God’s power and His presence in your life through difficult times? Have you said thank you in a while?

Write down some of the examples from your life that you remember and put them somewhere for you to see, as you work through Lent and prepare for Easter.

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