A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” – Isaiah 40:3
I call this devotional part 3, not because I have written two other parts, but because there have been two other parts in this journey I’ve been on. I believe God has called me to 40 weeks in the wilderness. The first part was at Jocassee Valley Brewing Company. The second was at Tamassee DAR campus. This last leg, part 3, is at Oconee State Park.
I continue to be amazed at the process God puts people through that truly follow Him. There have been so many twists and turns in my life. Some of those turns have led to incredible heartbreak, but God has always worked them out for my good. When my wife and I prayed to God under that tent for the first time at Jocassee Valley, I was about as down and out as I had ever been. My heart was shattered into a million pieces. I felt used and I felt rejected. I was crushed. Those little bible studies we did under the tent was the beginning of a healing that I didn’t think was possible.
As time went on, it got cold . . . really cold. Tamassee DAR provided shelter for us. The physical covering was like a spiritual covering for me. God took all my hurt, dealt with it, and asked me to give it all to Him. In all this time, I never really preached any sermons. The group we had would just read scriptures and we would all provide input as to what it meant to us, and we’d end up with these perspectives that we would have never gotten otherwise. Like those guys on the road to Emmaus, I look back on it and think, “Didn’t our spirits just burn while we sat there and simply talked about God.” (Derived from Luke 24:32).
Fast forward to this past Sunday. I preached to twelve people. They had gotten up in the morning while on vacation and made the trek to the little amphitheater at Oconee State Park. As I watched them take their place, I thought of how pure this all was and how blessed these people must be simply because they have a heart that longs to be around God. I asked God to help me and fill me up with His Spirit. He did exceedingly abundantly above all I could think or ask. We asked ourselves what kind of follower of Jesus we are. Are we wannabes that just go through the motions and do things so we will look the part of a Christian? Are we super religious, but still lost? Or are we authentic followers of Jesus Christ? If you want, you can read Acts 5 and find all three types.
The whole service ended with us praying for a man to be healed. He had tonsil cancer. They removed his tonsils, but it had spread to his lymph nodes. Of course he was worried about what his near future looked like. We all gathered around him, and we prayed. We had just read in Acts 5 that those disciples prayed for healing wherever they went, so we did the same. I left in awe that God had used me. There is no better feeling on this planet than to be used by Him and know without a doubt that He is right here with you.
Lord, how could I ever thank You? I am 45 years old, and You have done so much in my life. You have seen me through so many peaks and valleys. You have saved me. You have put me in this beautiful place where I can sit here on this second of June in 2021 and be so content. Even if for this little moment, I am perfectly content. I am resting in You and there is no place I’d rather be. Continue to use me as I complete this season in the wilderness. Bring people to the campground services and show me what You would have me preach. I am willing. I am able. Here am I, send me. Bless all who take the time to read this this morning. I pray that You are working in each one’s heart, soul, body, and mind. I pray that You will fill them with Your Holy Spirit that they may walk differently in this world. Use us, Lord, to draw people to You. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever . . . Amen.