The Wilderness of Winter

16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.

18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;

– Isaiah 1:16-19

I  read the following devotion today and thought it would be a great encouragement to share while in the midst of the “doldrums” (Mr. Befus’ word for the day J) of this long, cold winter.  The following is from The Daily Walk Bible, NLT:

“Have you ever spent the night in a wilderness? If so, you will have little trouble identifying with the complaints of the Israelites as they begin the march from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land.

The wilderness is a hostile place. By day the sun beats down mercilessly, and the temperature soars. (God knew this and provided a travelling umbrella—the cloud.) Food is scarce and water is virtually nonexistent in a wilderness—unless, of course, you are eating manna from the dew and drinking water from the rocks!

Do you see God’s hand of provision in the life of His nation? More important, do you see God’s hand of provision in your life? Repeatedly, the Israelites expressed grumbling instead of gratitude. Why not enjoy the blessing they missed by spending the next few minutes praising God for His daily provision?”

I was thinking about grumbling about the cold, about the snow, about how long winter is. Then God reminded me that He has provided shelter from the cold – my home. Complete with a comfortable bed, warm blankets, clean drinking water, hot showers. Complete with breakfast to fill my hunger. His abundant provision. The snow reminds me (daily) that although my sins are as scarlet, His blood covers me and makes me as white as snow (Isaiah 1:17-19). His extravagant provision. I often think the Israelites are so dumb for having missed God’s hand of provision. Will I be like the Israelites? Or will I express gratitude for His daily provision?

Something to think about. God bless you all today!

– Mrs. Schliesmann

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