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May 25, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | May 25

Encamped in the Wilderness


Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  

––Proverbs 3:5-6


I love this lyric from the song “Painting Pictures of Egypt” by Sara Groves: “I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacks. The future feels so hard and I want to go back.” 


Like the Israelites in the desert pining for Egypt’s leaks and onions, I sometimes find myself longing for simpler times in my past. It’s like an old flame from high school or college that seems really romantic in retrospect. Then your brother or a friend reminds you of all the bad stuff. 


Another line from the Groves song says, “And the place I was wasn’t perfect, but I had found a way to live. And it wasn’t milk or honey; but, then, neither is this.” When we are in a desert place in our journey—one that is dry, dull, or otherwise difficult—it can be tempting to stay put, get stuck. Or worse, try to live in the past (i.e., living in the “glory years” like Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite). 


Camping in the desert is fine—for a while. But God wants you to move. Why? Because He has a plan for you that is better and bigger than what you have right now. Free of pain and suffering? Definitely not. But God doesn’t want you to get comfortable living in the wilderness. We all have friends who never seem to move on—and it can happen at any age. I’m not trying to sound harsh because God knows that life can be really painful sometimes. It takes courage to step out your own front door sometimes—let alone conquer huge, difficult, or demanding tasks.


Don’t settle for the desert. Keep moving—just one step at a time—and the Holy Spirit will meet you where you are in order to guide you to where He wants you to go. 


Father, the future is a bit terrifying at times. Let me keep moving forward into Your plan for me.  


 “Painting Pictures of Egypt” by Sara Groves, from the album “Conversations,” March 2000, Sponge Records.


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