The desert. By definition it is an area where little to no life is sustained. Where even the hardiest plants and animals struggle to survive and must survive long periods of drought and extreme climates. It is classified as a desert due to it’s lack of rain fall. So even polar regions can be considered a desert…guess I forgot that little fun fact from geography class. I always imagine them as sweltering, sandy areas.
We all hear tales, or have seen it in a movie, where some poor fool lost in the desert is dying of dehydration, their skin killed from exposure to the sun and they start to hallucinate. They start to imagine a lush oasis, loved ones or a rescue. As they run towards it, it disappears and the person is left feeling worse than they did before they saw the mirage.
In our Wednesday night class we are studying people from the Bible who have gone through their own deserts and how they found the “streams” within it. How they leaned on their faith and were able to make it through their tough times, despite feeling like they were lost. The class really started at a perfect point in my life because I’m going through my own sort of desert. Initially I had signed up to take the other class that was being offered, but I got to thinking about it and being honest with myself. Was I choosing the right class? After careful consideration I realized that maybe the other class was like my mirage. That perhaps I needed to focus more on gleaning from other’s wisdom during their own struggles. I chose right.
There are so many moments, when wandering through my own deserts that I start floundering about. I start zigzagging, trying to find the right way to go. Hoping to see the edge of the desert, civilization on the horizon, plane contrails in the sky, screaming for help in hopes that someone would hear me…something! Doing this only ends up getting me lost even further and confused as to which way I really need to be going. I want to be like the “Phoenix” crew and just build my own rescue out of the scraps I’m left with and fly myself back to a normal life. Only, I’m out here alone and I feel that there’s been so much damage to my vessel that it’s best to just take what I can salvage and simply start walking.
Jesus spent a good part of His life in deserts (and not just because he lived in the middle east). He took nothing with him. He probably had no idea where exactly he needed to go to when he set out or what lay ahead of him, BUT he did know that God was with him and that the way, the means and the strength would be provided. I’ve started to focus on my desert rather than just wander around in it. I’m getting to know myself, I’m getting to know the ways the devil pokes at me and whispers to me while I’m struggling, and I’m getting to know my surroundings. All very important when you want to survive in a desert. I’m also building strength in my faith.
I have no idea what lies ahead or where my next meal will come from, but I do know that I will get through it. I have faith that God is guiding me and shaping me during this time to come out on the other side more beautiful, more knowledgable and more prepared and better equipped. When the rain does finally fall, a rock in the desert will do one of two things. It will either shatter, or will be smoothed. I believe that God is smoothing me. I can already feel it at times when the sands start to rub against me and I’m tested in each haboob.
I know the promises that God has made and because I chose to walk my desert with Christ, I will be able to fight off the devil and everything will turn out beautifully. For now, though, I need to be on my guard (because I have no idea how to kill a snake…just that I need to give it a wide berth) and I need to do more star gazing. The desert can be wondrously beautiful if you know where to look! Look to the heavens. God’s beauty and wonder is found even the most trying times!
Tags: Desert, devil, God, grace, Jesus, life, lost, Praise, Satan, saving, strength, Struggles, temptation, wandering, water
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