Seven Years In The Desert

(I reread one of my journal entries today and am amazed at God’s faithfulness to lead us out of dark places.Thank you, Jesus.) desert

September 20, 2013

The thought that God takes each of us into a uniquely designed desert to prepare us for what’s ahead  seems somewhat comforting –  if it’s true.  I wonder if it counts, though,  when our sin and faithlessness leads us into those dry , lonely, cracked valleys.  Is our length of stay in that  barren landscape determined by Him or by our own choices? Both, I’m sure.  How I wish  I learned quicker and heard clearer so my time in this place would have been over long ago.

But, today I had a momentary thrill when I thought I’d felt a rain drop on my face.  As if a cool wind from some summit nearby had blown life into  these dry bones – albeit for just a second.  My cloudy, dusty eyes seem to see the silhouette of a beautiful mountain range.  I want to believe and run towards it,  but the fear that it’s simply a mirage makes me doubt and stand motionless in apathy. I realize how weak these days in the desert have made me.  But….I realize that this one rain drop could be the beginning of life again.  The revelation that this trek across the desert started  6 1/2 years ago startles me. That long?  Almost 7 years?  Could it almost be over?

I remember the long and lonely walks that took me from a place of purpose, joy and fulfillment into an unknown world of fear, loneliness, anger,  sadness,  sin  and doubt.  I know that circumstances pointed me in this direction but my brokenness chased me into the dunes…and I haven’t known how to escape.  There have been days, sometimes weeks, when I’ve stumbled into the direction that might take me to your heights, but something would always get me disoriented and I’d find myself back among the cactus and lizards.

Dry. Empty. Dead inside.

Always knowing that I was in desperate need of rain.

Always knowing I needed beauty and life.

Always knowing I needed to find my way back to you.

But this morning I sensed that this journey may be ending and  my soul stirred, albeit with fear and trepidation .  Tonight you opened my eyes to this thought – deserts come in order to prepare us for something new.  I hope so! I’m desperate for that to be true! I’m ready to stand on it and to kill fear for it… I think.

So my question now is why?  What have I learned? How am I different?  What have you done  in this place to prepare me?  I’m desperate to know what you’re saying to me…for my heart to remember its gifts and  calling…to hear the words that you have pronounced over me again.

I can almost feel the gentleness of the breeze that lingers and dances through  the trees.  I can almost taste the sweetness of the water that’s clear and cool and abundant.  I can almost hear the sounds of life running, flying and singing  all around me…and I can’t wait to live in that place.  In a place I’ve never known before that is so intimate and true that fear, doubt and insecurity can’t survive there.  A place that teaches me to live only for and through you.  A place where my life is  poured out for the praise of your glory and my heart is still in your presence.

Let it rain.




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