Desert

Psalm 105:41 says, O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

We know summer has arrived when we see the kids heading for the pool and we can smell the burgers cooking on the grill.

This side of summertime can be so much fun!  As we gather to celebrate freedoms, joys and exciting moments in life, the time seems right for cookouts, swim parties and going on vacation.  However, the other side of summertime can be long, hot and miserable – resembling more of a desert than a season.   It is during these times of dryness that the temperature can reach triple digits, windy days can potentially start many wildfires, and most do not see a drop of rain for weeks.

Seasons with extreme heat like this can be devastating to nature and can take a toll on us humans.  We are in need of a bit of a cool down from these hot temperatures – not only in our weather forecast but also in our hearts.

Ask yourself this question: Are you feeling loneliness and pain along with distance from God?  Has your heart been struggling to find purpose and direction? Perhaps, it feels burned out and very dry…  Maybe you feel more like a cactus, all prickly outside and empty inside…  If so, you are not alone.  You see, even the most faithful can go through seasons when they are parched and in need of refreshment.

Sometimes the seasons in our life can seem like a desert as well, when we find ourselves in the great nothingness of a spiritual desert.  Question is, do we recognize that we are in a spiritual desert and what does a spiritual desert look like anyway?

Sometimes a spiritual desert can look like an illness that leads to chronic pain or a relationship that has reached an impasse.  It could be a prayer that has yet to be answered.  It could be a time in life where things aren’t going bad but things just don’t seem right.  It could be the job position that no longer offers fulfillment.  It could be a sin that has you entangled that you can’t break free of.   Regardless of the situation, everything seems off, unfamiliar and scary.

The important thing to know is that many have survived these spiritual deserts and there is hope for us as well. Some examples can be found in God’s Word.

The Hebrew slaves left Egypt to be led into the desert.  They were there for forty years. Many of them were filled with frustrations and failed expectations but God never let them down.  Eventually they were led to the promised land of Canaan.

David too, is a survivor from the desert.  When King Saul sought to take his life, he fled to the desert and lived there in fear of his captors.  He experienced isolation and desperation.  Yet, God delivered David and was with him every step of the way.

Even Jesus survived the desert – the desert of Temptation.  This is one desert we are all familiar with.  Yet, He overcame it without faltering because of the Power of the Holy Spirit.

And let’s not forget Job.  Job encountered a desert of great proportions.  He lost his home, his servants and his children and finally his health.  Job’s life was filled with such destruction that it seemed there was no hope.  Yet, God restored it all and blessed him with even more than he originally had.

However, to survive deserts like these we must be willing to Trust God completely and learn from our not so “cool” experiences. We should stop asking the question “Why?”, but rather ask, “What can you teach us Lord?”.  What is it that we can do that will bring YOU the Glory through this difficult, miserable or empty time in our lives?

Then while we wait on God… and submerge ourselves in His Word, we can begin to claim His promises and expect His deliverance.  Take a moment to reflect on the messages of God’s Restoration and Deliverance through His Eternal Love for us.  Only then will the Fountain of His Blessings overflow and satisfy our soul as we discover an Oasis of Tender Loving Care!

Be Refreshed!

Extra Verses for Personal Study: Exodus 3:1-12, Deuteronomy 8:2-3,
Psalm
Chapter 55, Luke 4:1-13, Job Chapters 1,2,3 and 42:10-16