What I Learned In The Desert—2

desertLast year I came out of a desert experience, which I described in a previous post.

Here are the three things I learned.

1.  “Focus on completion, not perfection.” This is what I heard in prayer one day, and it was  a major breakthrough for me.

I’m a detail-oriented perfectionist, which is great when you have plenty of time, but the more successful one becomes, the busier one will become, and I came to the point where my desire for perfection met the limits of my time. This phrase I heard in prayer resonated in me in part because I believe it was customized for me, which is the beauty of the insight one gets in prayer because it comes from the One who knows you the best. After hearing this, I began to focus on getting things done instead of getting them perfect. Some things need to be perfect; some things just need to get done, but if you are a perfectionist, reversing the default from perfection to completion is liberating.

2.  Faith is a choice that overcomes fear. I was studying Hebrews 11 and came across verse 27, which references Moses saying, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king.”

What jumped off the page was the juxtaposition of the words faith and fear: By faith . . . . not fearing. It’s hard to explain. I understood it more than read it, but in that moment I saw that the fear that comes from indulging thoughts about negative possibilities is a choice, and that doing the opposite is an act of faith. I decided from that time on to make a conscious effort to do the latter.

3. Being content with distresses and difficulties and embracing God’s grace. This is the lesson of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

I had read these verses many times before, but some things must be lived to be learned, and the Lord allowed me to live in a difficult season long enough to get a glimpse of this truth.

I was in an extended season of difficulties that fueled frustration and anxiety in my life. These are the three things the Lord taught me in the midst of that season. I’ve written about them here, not to suggest a three-step plan for overcoming difficulties, but to encourage others to seek help from Jesus in times of need because in seeking His help we get something much better—Him. GS