Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Psalm 107:4-7
I wish desperately that life would never involve living in a desert. But, the more I learn about the soul and the cry of my own heart, I am convinced that all will experience a journey into a desert at some point. Provision and a satisfied spirit is commonplace in our hurried, busy and often troubled lives. We ignore the fact that our soul is starving and our heart is thirsting for the Lord who reigns, but we ignore His Lordship and deny the grail of Living Water and find nourishment in the flesh instead.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
In the desert, God restores and lifts up. And remember, it was in the desert that Jesus was tempted by Satan. This was not a preferred place to go for Christ, but He knew it was a place He needed to enter for all mankind. A dry place where there were no distractions and where even a drop of water would be tempting. Satan took upon himself the opportunity to present the most rewarding of all temptations and even so, Christ received the grail of Living Water and found nourishment for His soul in the comfort and protection of God the Father.
In the desert, life has new rules. Most things are not as they appear. The heat on the horizon feeds our minds the lie of flowing water. The vast expanse disorients us without assured direction. And overhead, in the skies is the mirage of death in waiting. The buzzards circle in a dance of time that concludes at the side of death. It’s here when loneliness and the begging of our soul cries out to be saved from torment, pain and grief. But when God has held your hand to the edge of the desert and walked with you through the sands of pure dependence upon Him, the mirage in the sky is no buzzard at all. Satan would have you think such a lie, would he not?
In the desert, where God’s children go to drink from the oasis of Life, there is an Eagle that soars the skies whose wings stretch far and wide. These wings are the wings we too, soar upon and gain strength. So, the shadow that falls upon us in the desert is not the shadow of death, it’s the shadow of the One who gives Life!
Lord Jesus, remind me of the comfort you bring when all seems barren and desolate, when growth seems impossible and you appear far away. May your wings sustain me!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1