How To Survive a Trip Through the Desert in The Middle of Winter

It certainly is a beautiful, winter wonderland today!  Thank you, Lord for the beauty you've given us today.

Have you ever had a feeling of unrest that you knew God was asking you to do something, but you couldn’t seem to get it done? It seems like lately, I have had a lot of that.  I know God is moving my ministry in a new direction and I’m excited about that. However, there seems to be one road block after another slowing me down and keeping me away from that which God is leading me to do.

In fact, some days I just feel as though I’m wandering through the desert. The things that I thought He wanted from me seem to be so far from my ability to accomplish. Where does one find time to get it all done when life gets in the way? Am I that inept that I can’t simply follow God’s lead in my life? If we are realistic, this happens to each of us at some time in our lives.

As believers, we need to keep pressing on even when we get tired or feel distracted. We can’t beat ourselves up when we don’t see things happening as quickly as we would like.  In Ohio at this time of year, there is little sunshine and a lot of cold, gloomy days. We have to strategically guard against the feeling of desperation and hopelessness in these winter months as a result of our physical surroundings. We need to remind ourselves that just as the leaves will surely return to the trees and the sun begin to shine again come spring, so might the desert times of our lives bring forth life and meaning in the days ahead.

In Ecclesiastes 9, the Bible says, “10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…11 …The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.”

I look at that verse and I realize there is nothing special about my circumstances. God gives us each a job to do and whatever it is, we should do it with all our might. Circumstances will change in our lives that will cause us to slow down and even stumble at times. That’s OK. We just need to keep going and doing what we feel called to do.

Even though He wants us to live our lives with all we’ve got, He reminds us that it’s really not about us and our abilities.  In Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV), the Bible says ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. Yes, we should do all that we can but we have to remember, we don’t have to be swift, strong, wise, rich, or skilled to get through this life.We just simply need to trust our Father who is all of those things. He didn’t create us to be strong within ourselves; rather, He gave us His Spirit to encourage, guide and strengthen our walk. With His help, we should be able to walk through the winter months of our lives with a feeling of victory or at least hope even when things look bleak in our surroundings.

Is there something in your life where you have lost hope? Are you living your life as one who has forgotten that spring is on its way? Have you lost sight of God in your circumstances?  Stop and think.  Am I doing that which I feel I should be doing with all of my might? Do I trust God to be my strength and guide as I walk through these desert-like and barren times? I’m here to encourage you to refocus. Do what you’ve been called to do with all your heart and soul, despite what your surroundings might appear like today. Then trust God to do the rest.

As sure as spring is just around the corner,

God is just a prayer away.

Trust Him!

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. inmycorner
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 07:51:06

    OH, those words that spring will arrive are, for me, a “God send”. Having been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer has plunged me into a nearly eternal winter.


    • Lori Kempton
      Dec 08, 2014 @ 08:12:36

      I’m so sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. I am happy to say that I will see two years as a breast cancer survivor on February 1. That being said, I encourage you to not lose hope. Ignore your circumstances and keep your eyes on Jesus. He will give you sunshine at a time when you didn’t think it was possible. I will keep you in my prayers and pray for God’s comfort for you in the days ahead. I’m glad He could speak to you through my writing. It makes all of the time writing, worth it…if it were just for you. Blessings.


      • inmycorner
        Dec 08, 2014 @ 09:02:43

        And – I am so grateful to have opened this particular post this morning and to have made a connection with you. I am sure your brush with cancer has given you insights into my situation that I will find helpful. Congratulations to you on your good health! And thank-you.

      • Lori Kempton
        Dec 08, 2014 @ 12:17:23

        I will be praying for you. Please keep me posted on your healing journey!

    • Mary Rawlins
      Dec 08, 2014 @ 09:51:06

      @inmycorner. Praying for your healing and peace. If you have never heard the song by Jeff and Sherry Easter, “Roses will bloom again” you may find comfort in it. God be with you.


  2. vondaskelton
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 08:02:05

    Great reminder, Lori. Whenever I feel that I must be out of God’s will because things aren’t working right, I think of Paul and His missionary journeys. He thought he was so go one direction, but it says the Holy Spirit stopped him, so he altered his path and continued. He was beaten up, left for dead, thrown out of town, and yet he kept going.

    Being in God’s will doesn’t mean everything will work out as WE plan, but as long as we seek His leading and press on, HE can accomplish His will for our lives.


  3. Mary Rawlins
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 09:47:17

    I’m right there Lori. It seems everyday I wonder, why do I feel so depressed. I’m so blessed and so grateful, but the feeling still looms. Is it the “stage of my life” I ask or is it the holidays? I find myself longing for Christmas of yesteryear when the kids were home, expressing their excitement of listening to Christmas music, seeing the decorations and the gifts under the tree. Now all is quiet, the excitement is gone….then I think of how quiet it must have been on the first Christmas……over 2000 years ago. As I fight off the feeling of guilt, I find myself praying a prayer of Thanksgiving……even at Christmas time, and everyday.


  4. Lori Kempton
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 12:29:06

    So true, Mary. Time changes the way we celebrate. I’m just thankful the Reason we celebrate is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Merry Christmas, my friend!


  5. kathystorrie
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 15:56:23

    Hi Lori,
    I always enjoy reading your blog stories. This one reminded me of what happened about a year ago when I finished editing my second book for the 8th time. I felt like I was on merry-go-round nightmare. All the time and trouble I was taking to better my book seemed like a waste of time since my first book was a low seller. Even if my second book was a Frank Peretti equal, WHO would buy it? My last book found the hands of mostly relatives due to my generous, judge cousin who bought the books for them. My second book is not about the Appalachia, so I knew I needed to find a different TRIBE or group of readers out there BEFORE I published this second novel…but how in the world could I do that?

    I prayed about it but I heard nothing from God. Finally, I said, “God, I am NOT going to do any more writing, editing, critiquing, searching for a publisher, etc. until You tell me if, when and what to do next. A peace came over me until Satan started whispering and I thought it was God, “You’re not a writer, Kathy! Go back to painting!” I tried to paint but…I kept getting distracted.

    Six months of winter and spring crawled by while I waited for God. Meanwhile, I noticed I was becoming more calm, cool, and collective. I actually enjoyed the nice break of not editing, critiquing or fretting. One June day something on facebook grabbed my attention. For days I read everything online about the writing course. I read how I would be able to find my tribe or readers and a lot more, neat stuff. Each time I asked God if this was my answer I felt warm and gooey in my spirit like God was holding me in His arms and laughing.

    God used the six months to lead me down a path of waiting on Him. He showed me if I waited on Him I wouldn’t have to push so hard to get things completed. He reminded me His yoke is still easy and His burden is always light even in tough situations. He said if I have to push really hard on something, then it’s probably not of Him. Even if there’s a deadlne, God wants me to rest In Him and enjoy the journey. . . together.

    You may be thinking do I have my Tribe/readers yet? I’ll have to say, No not yet, but it is a wonderful work in progress and I am enjoying the ride!


    • Lori Kempton
      Dec 08, 2014 @ 19:09:23

      You’re right, Kathy. God has each of us on our own journey. It’s really about staying focused on God that makes the journey enjoyable. Best wishes building your tribe. Count me in as one of your members! Thanks for reading and commenting.


  6. tndevine
    Dec 23, 2014 @ 23:02:19

    Reblogged this on Heart Of The Wood and commented:
    I love this!!


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