I get the most powerful sense of God’s attentiveness where, in a place of great adversity, I choose to believe in Him. Where I have not given up but, rather, affirmed my heart for the Savior who was once tested in the wilderness — the tempter seemed to flee as my soul felt baptized in the consoling warmth of Heaven’s cleansing waters.
The enemy now knows that I would not exchange my hope in God’s Kingdom for a better place in this wilderness of corruptedness. Yet, he continues to try me; he would not stop until the end of my days. But I would echo the chorus of a heartfelt old hymn, where the unknown author wrote, “Take this whole world, but give me Jesus. I won’t turn back, I won’t turn back.” And this opportunity is given to each of us so that, when we are broken and crushed, we can feel the nearness of the loving God who saves His children.
Helen H. Lemmel wrote the following refrain in 1922 for her musical exhortation, Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus:”
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, … Look full in His wonderful face, … And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, … In the light of His glory and grace.”
Decades have passed since I last heard a congregation lift up its voices to sing this old hymn. But its melody and message still resonate in me and ring true when I would otherwise be overtaken by my circumstances; I am reminded that we can overcome “by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – See Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
The Lord would be attentive to your cries; I know this to be true, for He is the One who gave me hope when there was no one else. Believe in Him and, particularly during the worst of times, unceasingly engage His presence in prayer. With open arms, He comes to the brokenhearted and “… saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – See Psalm 34:18 (NASB)
May you find peace in your life by reaching out in unyielding prayer to the One who listens to the faithful heart and gives it comfort. We might struggle in this wilderness, but our time here is only temporary. We are overcoming this wilderness when we draw close to God — the One who led His people to the promised land and whose Son succinctly promised, “… that whoever believes in Him [Jesus] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – See John 3:16 (NASB)