In The Wilderness

when life is stressful, one must find a way to stay sane.

i find myself complaining and worrying a lot these days. work is overwhelming. and life is okay but not satisfying. self-reliance and greed. and i don’t want to be like this.

everyday, i struggle to stand strong in Christ. it’s this slight depression i am facing that keeps dragging me down. but i try…i won’t give up. yet it can be tiring. to win this fight, i need Him.

here, in the midst of disappointment and frustration, God is still good. and i find joy in small things. so instead of complaining, i want to take time thanking Him and counting the blessings.

here’s what i’m thankful for:

– the 23C weather. winter is here.

– walking along the river at night with cool breeze on my cheeks

– oranges and cheese

– apple and cranberry juice

– time with the 5 university students i’m working on a special project with

– the ability to understand karen language

– joy in the midst of pain

– the promise of  God that He will always be here with me no matter what happens

– this voice i can use to sing God praise

– christmas music

– an anticipated phone call

– hot shower after a long day and the smell of shampoo on my hair

– the promising good night

yesterday, i was reading exodus 3, the story of God calling moses. it’s true that God’s word is new every time we read it. i noticed something i didn’t before. when moses heard the Lord’s voice, it was in the wilderness. in the beginning of chapter 3, moses was keeping the flock and leading them “to the west side of the wilderness and came to horeb, the mountain of God.” (exodus 3:1-2)

sometimes God chooses to reveal Himself to us in the most unlikely place…in the most daunting circumstances in life…like He did to moses in the wilderness.

from my personal experience, i feel that learning karen language has been slow. it’s a struggle, something i have to battle with. it can get discouraging. and there are people at church who i try to understand. yes, i so love them. they are my family…my community.  but there are certain personalities and attitudes that i’m still trying to make sense of. sometimes it gives me pain. plus, every week, i also don’t have any full translation for the sermon anymore. i think my friends think it’d be a good practice for my listening skills. so they’d give me the given scriptures for the sermon. and if there’s any certain part i’d like to know, i have to ask them. you know…it is not easy.

but strangely enough…i feel like i’m growing in spiritual maturity more than when i attended the international church. the sermons were good and uplifting. and i understood it very well. but there was no community for me.  what i learned during the sermons wasn’t put to use. i wasn’t in the field and get dirty. i was an observer.

but now…i’m one of the players…real, discouraged and exhausted…but alive and full of purpose. in this hardship, i find God.

in the infamous psalm 23, david didn’t write “but please keep me from going into the valley” but instead he wrote, “even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” he acknowledged God’s presence and was confident to face the troubles with joy. he knew that the Lord would be with him every step of the way.

there is also another song from third day that has become my favorite – “the mountain of God”. a part from the song says:

even though the journey is long and i know the road is hard. but the One who’s gone before me, He will help me carry on. and after all that i’ve been through, and now i realized the truth – that i must go to the valley to stand before the mountain of God.

our paths will one way or the other end up in the valley. dark and scary. threatening and disheartening. but we must never lose joy. despite the hardship, God promises to be HERE with us. Jesus has given us His own Spirit. and He lives TODAY.

so if you find yourself in the wilderness today, don’t freak out. you may just find a burning bush or hear God’s voice.

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About Mink Gough

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 View all posts by Mink Gough

4 responses to “In The Wilderness

  • Sharon

    Mink, I too am where you are, in the wilderness. I woke up this morning feeling very depressed and felt as if God was nowhere. It is so stressful right now. Your writing gave me my joy and comfort back. Thank you as I know you are learning, we all are there with you no matter our age. Our God is an AWESOME GOD!!! He provides just what we need when we need it, even if we can not see it at the time. Love you dear Sister in Christ!!!

    • Minkster

      sharon, i’m glad that the Lord has given you joy and comfort back. in times like this, we do need each other. and i’ll be praying for you as you go through this valley. love you too, dear!

  • nk

    enjoy reading your thoughts na~
    though I can’t think of much to comment.
    but I do appreciate your blogs.
    think that’s all for now.

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