The Wilderness

“Anita Spade” immediately noticed that the affordable place that she rented for her family was unlivable. As soon as she paid the deposit and first month rent, she was informed that the house was scheduled to be cleaned and fixed within the next couple of days. She was also told to expect a couple of inspections done to it by then too. Whatever needed to be fixed and replaced were to be taken care of shortly afterwards. After the house passed those tests, she was to receive basic kitchen appliances, as well as to have the water and utilities able to be turned on for her usage. She was not bothered because she urgently needed stability and a home for her children as soon as possible.

On the first night, “Anita” and her children found it hard to sleep in their new home because it was a very old and lacked efficient insulation. It also had holes in some of the floors and walls, and she knew nothing about them beforehand. The temperature inside was much colder than the weather outside. Because of that, the indoor air was chilly enough that she was able to see her breath at different parts of the day and evening hours, based upon the room where she was in. She had no furniture for her and her children to sit or sleep on. So they slept and sat on a blanket that covered the dirty floor in the room that they all shared. Some of the screen-less windows had cracks and broken locks, and if it was meant for anybody to come into her home, such person could have done so effortlessly. She received clear comfort in her heart to know that she and her children would be fine, in contrast to how the situation appeared.

“Anita” realized that most of the people in the area hidden themselves in the daytime. But from sunset until the crack of dawn, they came out of the homes and abandoned houses that were nearby hers. They swarmed the streets and stayed under the influence of illegal substances and alcohol, all throughout the night until when the sun had risen. Because many of them committed those activities around her home, her eyes stayed opened. Also, numerous of times in the middle of that night, she heard sounds from the handle on her back door.

Later on the next day, “Anita” found some objects on backdoor area’s step, and they were the type of items that one used as ways to break into a locked place. The house stayed dark and she did not think that people who lived nearby knew that occupants just moved in the place. Regardless of what those items were all about and why sounds were heard from her backdoor’s handle the night before, she informed her landlord about the first night of her stay there. However, the expression on the man’s face indicated to her that he did care about what he came across as being of her problem only. As he gave her no response, he carried himself as if he was unconcerned about her and the issues.

After several weeks passed by, the nighttime events that occurred around and on “Anita’s” home became predictable to her and her children. Besides that, she realized that her landlord did not intend to make the house inhabitable for her because it never passed any inspections, and as a result, he never had anything cleaned, added on, nor fixed.

In “Anita’s” assumption, she believed that her landlord acknowledged how it would have cost him a lot more money to fix her home, in comparison to the amount of money that he requested from her every month. She thought that he ultimately decided to save his money and pretend as if he never guaranteed her anything, whether by his word or the lease contract that he assumed was no longer in her possession. Hence, she felt as if he was a bold gambler and one who took a chance to play with her intelligence. She never reported him to anybody. None of the situation involving the landlord made any sense to her, nor why he thought the way he had against her.

It would be some years later until “Anita” began to believe that the hands of God might have been involved in the situation to some extent. She also came to believe that He lead her out of it, in a way that made her come out much closer to the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 3:19, 23-28, “Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.”

“Anita” continued to live in her home while it remained in an intolerable state. After the first month, she refused to pay her landlord anything for rent and for a while, he continued to demand it from her. But when a couple of months passed by, she noticed that if he ever once wanted to give her a legal eviction, he backed away from such plan. It was due to how she discreetly called his bluff and dared him to. In her view, he was aware of the unbearable condition of that house, so he figured that she would move out of it sooner than later. That was proven after he eventually left her alone and tried to avoid her.

What some people would refer to as being a mouthy princess or an evil queen, “Anita” was neither. Her life was not centered in the middle of constant intentional dramas. From that, her kinfolks were bored with her, as she was considered to have been a “nobody” and nothing special to them. Her most influential relatives habitually craved attention, were drama creators, and believed that they and their own households were more important than her and her children. They also had always successfully worked on the other relatives, to keep her and her children displaced from them all.

Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, … and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

The same relatives who the others were impressionable to, constantly had both financial and emotional support from the others, and they were able to reach the individual levels that they were at in life because everybody else always gave them unconditional assistance. “Anita” felt that she gave them as much respect that anybody would desire to receive. They carried themselves as if they were very important people who everybody was supposed to love and automatically accept, no matter how unpleasant and unbearable their personalities were. The main problem they seemed to have had against her was that she never voluntarily granted their every wish, nor acted as if her sole purpose in life was to circle around them. Because they hated everybody who did not aim to impress them, they came across as if they hated her. The other relatives were not known as much as to harbor hatred in their hearts, but she believed that definitely did not have love in them either.

Psalms 37:3-7 and 9, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. … those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”

Other relatives of “Anita” had gladly welcomed her and her children into their homes at the times when she was homeless. But not out of love, concern, and desires to help her and her children get on their own feet. Instead, the generosity was given so that they could find every imperfection about her and her children, in order to always have something exciting to report to the others about, to remain a part of the popular relatives’ inner circles.

Proverbs 19:7, “All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.”

“Anita” and her children were the secondary black sheep who everybody was supposed to side against.

Psalms 133:1-3, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”

“Anita” understood that despite what she went through, she always acknowledged the Lord no matter what downfall would experience.

Jeremiah 23:23-24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”

Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

However, with the exception of “Anita’s” children, “Anita” always found it difficult to trust anybody, while to some extent, she struggled to trust God.

Psalms 2:12, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

Psalms 17:7, “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.”

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”

Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”

Psalms 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

Then the time came when “Anita” considered herself to have been fortunate enough to end her homeless condition, once she found an affordable place to rent and immediately move her children into.

The more “Anita” became aware of the host of outrageous problems that she and her children faced at the place that she rented, the more reasons she had to call out to God.

2 Corinthians 6:4, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,”

Romans 15: 4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

1 Timothy 6:11, “…follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”

Hebrews 10:36, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

James 1:3-4, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Then one night, “Anita” dreamed that she was alone and peaceful in a small boat that sailed in the middle of an ocean, by means of waves and ripples. Then bigger waves occasionally moved the boat away from the center. But every time that happened, a very enormous-sized hand appeared and blocked the boat in a gentle manner, so that it would not sail any further from the middle. Subsequently, it slowly moved the boat back towards the center of the sea, and after that same scenario occurred a few more times, she realized that the sea was inside of another gigantic hand, and it was opened in the shape of a “U” in order to hold that ocean. While she was coming out of that dream, she acknowledged from within that those hands were symbolic of God’s and her place in them. When she awakened, she thought about the dream and came to believe that it was from God, which gave her relief, due to the situation with the house and those who loitered around it.

Psalms 107:27-31, “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”

Sometime prior to when “Anita” resided in her home, while she was homeless, she tearfully walked inside of a sanctuary one day, and emotionally begged to immediately be directed to somebody who was able to give her some encouragement and directions. After she was guided to an elderly age woman who had walked her into a private room, the woman vocally prayed in a different tongue. Then the woman placed her own hands together, opened them up in front of “Anita” face, and assured her that she would be alright, in spite of whatever hardships that she went through at the time. After that, “Anita” was informed that God had her right where He wanted her to be, and it was to be in the middle where both of His hands were placed together.

Micah 7:8, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.”

Exodus 13:16-18 and 20-22, “And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

Due to the lack electricity in “Anita’s” home, she had limited ways to entertain herself, which further encouraged her to constantly pray to God. So after some amount of time, she felt from within herself that the house was blessed. But on the contrary, it made her feel uncomfortable too. To her, it was something negative about the air at times, which led her to stop in her tracks, while she stayed prayerful and scared. So for a short while, she believed that the house was both demonic and haunted. In hindsight, she concluded that the devil may have tried to harass her there, which led her to feel uncomfortable at times.

One night, “Anita” came out of a dream that disturbed her, when she was suddenly awakened by the loud sounds of a bottle that felled from the top of a cabinet and landed on the ground. She knew what the sound was, which immediately scared her, and the situation affected her in a way that led her to pray to God.

The very next day, “Anita” turned around and saw a figure that stood a few feet from her. She stared hard and studied it because she was not sure as to what she looked at. She did not feel horrified, but was rather mystified. The form had the facial features of a man, was medium built, and was at least six feet tall. The outline resembled tobacco smoke in the colors of gray, black, and white. The interior was textured, had a translucent appearance, and was compared to her vision whenever she opened her eyes while inside of a filled, clean swimming pool.

At one point, “Anita” tried to doubt what she saw, as she assumed that the figure was part of the cold draft that stayed inside of her home, and not in the area of her kerosene heater. But she immediately ruled that theory out. Within a couple of weeks, she encountered the figure a few more times and at each occurrence, the figure either stood still besides her, or slowly walked up and down her home. There was something about the figure that made her feel both uncomfortable and comfortable, yet neither one nor the other. However, she was much more distraught of the people who hung around her home outside. But she felt secured, inner comfort, and peace from within herself, which allowed her to dismiss a significant amount of the fear that she fed on. From within, she always kept acknowledging clearly that those in her household will be alright.

Psalms 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,”

Psalms 57:1-4, “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.”
In the unbearable house, “Anita” thought the figure was a harmless ghost from an earlier occupant at first, to watch over her and her household against those who hung out around her home.
After enough prayers and due to how “Anita” felt inside, she came to believed that the figure was an angel of the Lord, to look after and protect her and her household against those who loitered around their home. Such assumption only increased after she felt inner-security and well protected, as the knowledge of such figure had her pray to God continuously furthermore. She also felt that an angel of the Lord was sent to them after the bottle incident, as she blamed that incident on the devil and his realm, and believed that the angel of the Lord was needed because of that, for the sakes of her and her household. But after she recognized that she was not completely sure about the spiritual realm of the figure, whether from the Lord’s or the devil’s, she prayed to God with a request to never see that figure again.

1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

After such prayer, “Anita” never did, but still felt inner-security.

Psalms 23:1-6, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

In hindsight, “Anita” believed that the overall experiences of that house had led her to pray to God as part of her permanent lifestyle, as well as to boost her growth in the Christian faith and spiritually develop in the Lord.

Job 23:10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

“Anita” and her household eventually left that house. She came to believe that the house was a place where she was further became characteristically humbled. There, she was able to see that her life was in God’s hands.

Psalms 125:1-2, “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.”

In the house, “Anita” felt that she had some firsthand experiences to know that no matter what she went through, no person, spirit, devil, powers, or anything else was to touch her and her children. She believed that it was not in God’s desire to allow it, and she needed to learn how to completely trust Him.

Psalms 16:1, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.”

Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Psalms 32:10, “…he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.”

James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Psalms 62:8, “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

Psalms 22:5, “They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.”

From “The Holy Spirit and Christian Testimonies,” by C. Marie

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