When my circumstances seem dry and I feel brittle I always have an excuse for disobedience:
I erupted at my husband (There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts Proverbs 12:18a ESV), but I hadn’t slept well the night before and I had a really bad headache.
I snapped at my kids (Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger… Ephesians 4:26 ESV), but they had been griping all day and I was tired of their bad attitude.
But none of my excuses help me flourish in the desert circumstances of life. They only harden my heart and dry out my soul.
So how is a stressed out, nerves stretched tight, person to flourish in the driest, dreariest places?
Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them [God’s commandments], that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you… Deuteronomy 6:3 ESV
Too often we look at God’s commands as a heavy burden that sucks out all the joy of life. But that is not the purpose of God’s commands. His commands are intended to help us flourish.
In other words God’s moral commands are the best way for humanity to get and stay healthy. When we make excuses for not keeping His commands (even when life is tough) we begin to wilt.
Remember Jesus promised, “…my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30 ESV Even in dry ground and difficult places His way, His commands are not burdensome. They are life-giving.
Far too often we seek for water from the dry well of self-satisfaction, or self-justification. And we remain parched.
Instead we need to trust God’s way in the deserts of life. When we drink deeply from the well of living water, by reading the Bible, praying for understanding, serving in Jesus’ Name, being part of a local body (church)…We obey God’s commands. We stop making excuses and begin to flourish even in the desert.
Father, I confess that often I seek to excuse my sin when circumstances are hard and I am stressed out. Forgive me for seeking water from a different source than You. Help me to no longer run to the wells of self-justification and self-satisifaction. Instead help me to long for and drink deeply from the well of Living Water, from You. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.