Joy In The Wilderness

Redefining the Wilderness

Dearest Reader, 

In the past months, I’ve often reminded myself of the words of James, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” 

Joy in the hard edges of life and long seasons of suffering is hard.

Because this season has been painfully long, I’ve been keeping a list of what brings me delight. Joy is a state of happiness, a quiet settledness deep in our souls. We breathe in wonder, allow it to wash over us from the inside out.

I pray, Dearest One, my list will do the same for you. Or, at the very least, spur you to make a list.

Quiet in the early morning fill me with peace. Joy is here. God is here. He is with me, and He is in me. 

My coffee, journal, and Bible on the deck soothe. A cool breeze on my face. I wonder at the grace of this quiet communion between the Lord and me. It’s a gift to inhale his beauty.

“Let me hear you in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.”

Psalm 143:8

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

Psalm 19:1 

Inhaling simple pleasures through beauty as dew still lays on the ground.

Joy in seed packets spread over the ground, sprouting Zinnias and bringing bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. 

Short walks beneath a faded umbrella. Sunlight glistens on the dew. 

Doves coo and roosters crow.

I am treasuring art created by my daughter’s hand. 

Textures, pastels, and petals.

There’s happiness in tiny blooms, strawberries, and vines.

“I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time

I rest in the grace of the world and am free.”

Wendell Berry

When I think of joy in the wilderness, I think of the prophet Habakkuk.

Three tiny chapters, tucked near the end of the Old Testament, with forty-six soul-piercing passages. Habakkuk, whose name in Hebrew means “Embrace.”

We learn from Habakkuk to hold on to God, and our faith when everything around us is falling apart. Embracing God, hanging on to our trust with all the strength we can muster, is where joy settles.

Yes, Beloved, there is wonder and gladness, comfort and delight, when we sojourn through the wilderness in communion with God.

Where are you finding joy today?

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”

Psalm 119:50

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

*Currently, we are in the book of Habakkuk. I’d love to share my Bible Reading Plan with you, along with my Bible Study Plan, if you are interested comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word