Thursday, February 23, 2012

40 Days of Virtue: A Voice in the Wilderness

"Mirage in the Desert" original watercolor
copyright Cynthia K. Stiverson
A Voice In The Wilderness
by Cindy Stiverson

Picture yourself in a desert. The land stretches in every direction further than your eyes can see. The sun is blistering hot, beating down on your head and shoulders.  You are sweaty, tired and distinctly aware of how very alone you are.

Now, imagine in this setting, hearing the cry of a voice; a voice you may even recognize. It is the King's momma, ringing loud and clear across that dry ground, as she begins this description of the woman her son should seek as his bride:
"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies." ~Proverbs 31:10NLT
How would you respond to her words? Would you cry out in confidence, "Here I am!" Or would you resonate with her question, wishing you could find that one precious, trustworthy gal-pal that would breathe life into your desert of relationships? Or maybe you would wonder, "What planet did she come from?"

The King obviously had his choice of women. He could summon them with a wink of the eye or a snap of his fingers. And, we all know how tempting it might be to respond with dreams of living happily ever after as his bride. In fact, many of us have been there, done that, only to be disillusioned and deserted.

We can be sure the life of this mother and son was that of luxury, position, fame. And yet, this motherly advice comes as a warning for all of us to heed. In spite of their privileged lives, this mother had taken a trip around the block. She was well versed in the sexual promiscuity that had invaded the kingdom. In fact, the problem of immorality is addressed throughout the book of Proverbs.

What I love about this mother?  She knows the immense value of a woman who seeks the Lord. She also knows how very precious is our sexual purity. If we give it away prematurely or to the wrong person, it cuts to the depth of our womanhood.

This is a prophetic woman. Her words echo into the future in preparation for the coming of Christ...
"He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!’ This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven." Mark 1:3-4NLT
This mother. This preacher. What do they have in common? They have gone ahead of us: clearing the path and paving the way for our freedom. They remind us what is important to God. They reveal our need for a Savior.
"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:6-8NLT
Friend, are you wandering around in the wilderness?
Feeling alone, desperate to hear a voice of direction? Are you thinking it is too late for you; or that you're not good enough for God? Are you feeling "utterly helpless" today?  If so, you are in the perfect position to receive the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ. Whatever your situation, will you please take as long as is necessary to talk to Him, give all your problems to Him, and allow Him to cleanse you of all the muck of your life?

Try this:  Journal the thoughts, admit the hurts and shame, that surfaced as you read this devotional. Present your words to the Lord. Listen. Hear. Respond by asking forgiveness and by celebrating God's great love for you.

Holy Father,
I pray for my sister today. I pray you would bring her to the end of herself, so she can see Jesus. Lord, as we prepare anew for your coming, reveal to us the depravity of our hearts, the places that have been lying in ruin within us. Heal our hurts. Transform us from the inside out.

For those who are wandering in the desert, may You be the voice they hear. For those in the land of plenty, open their eyes to their inner poverty and the poverty that surrounds them. For those in need of a friend, lead them to a woman of virtue. Lord, may our hearts be woven together in Your love!
In Jesus Name,
Amen

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