Brutality comes in many forms. This past year has been a brutal year. From seeming stability to out of control complexity, my heart took a beating. There were times this past year that I awoke feeling like an MMA fighter after a night at the Octagon.

But it is in such harsh times, that God is most tender with us. In deepening times of sorrow, there can be an awareness of our belovedness at a new level. It is in the battlefield of the wilderness that we seek out a place of refuge. For the wholehearted Jesus disciple, it is a time of measured evaluation. Evaluation of our motives, our desires, our friendships, and our destiny.

It is in brutal times that God reveals His nature, His beauty in heartfelt ways. The darkness of our soul is revealed in such times. The power of God is evident in harsh circumstances. But we must seek Him.

Brutal times are actually the best of times if we long to love God with all of our heart! God wants your whole heart. Did you know that? Though we are commanded to love God with all of our heart, do we slow down enough to think that His love requires our whole heart? Brutal times expose the reality of our dilemma of being a poser and pretender. All of our heart can’t love God until the sinful, selfish, prideful part of our heart is exposed and dealt with. Brutal times reveal our heart.

Brutal times are the best of times when we make God our refuge. For it is in harshness and trouble that we run to Him. It is in the wilderness that Jacob wrestled with God and received a blessing. It was in the wilderness that Moses found a burning loving God and discovered His mission. It was in the wilderness that Jesus was confronted by satan and walked out in the power of the Spirit.

If you are in brutal times, if you are passing through a wilderness, turn to Jesus and find your refuge in Him. Confront your sin. Face your darkness. Open your whole heart to Him. Ask Him to love you. Ask Him to reveal to you your belovedness. He will.

Brutal times are the best of times when our refuge is Christ.

On the Road,

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