Thursday, January 28, 2010


I don't think I'm the only Christian who has desert moments. When things just seem colorless, dry, barren. I do think that we can be hesitant to talk about those times because it might give people the idea that our faith is compromised. Or, at least this is my experience, people start giving advice on how to get "back to normal." It's just been very recently in my life that I have come to see the desert as just a time, a season. Maybe it's the 20/20 hindsight that gives me reassurance that these times have never lasted. It's good too, to finally be confident in my relationship with Christ enough to not fear the desert.
Yes, the last few months have been a desert time for me. But life in the desert is not death. It is a time to be a little bit off kilter for enough days in a row to take notice. It's just unpleasant enough to want it to end. It's just beyond my understanding and control enough for me to stretch myself spiritually. Just barren enough for me to be willing to really seek the Holy Spirit for the way out. Maybe more yielded spirits than mine don't require the desert, maybe I create my own. That doesn't really bother me either. I don't consider this a character flaw. It just is. It's just the me in me. Always trying to get her under submission but knowing full well it will be a work in progress until my final redemption of spirit and body.
So the desert. This most recent one has been one of niggling frustration. Some short-temperedness, usually focused in a few particular areas. I have been discontent at work and I think I had to stumble around the sand dunes until I ran out of excuses and finger-pointing. The tricky part is, all of the things and people I blamed for my experience were rightfully to blame. Hence my wandering around figuring since I was not the cause, I need not worry about the solution. Other than to take the occasional opportunity to call attention to all the problems.
Although I'm not one for resolutions, there is a certain invitation in the new year to take a deep breath and a fresh start. I've done that. Started off by confronting those things that I needed to do better and doing them. Confessing my weaknesses, although they weren't really sins, and asking God to increase my skills and ability to make me better. And most of all, every morning I stop still and quiet in my family room and confront the desert, which is still visible if I look over my shoulder. I could walk in a giant circle and wind up right back in the Sahara. But the purpose of this desert is completed and I need to stay the course revealed to me.
In some ways, I feel that there are pockets of my life that are deserts. I didn't create them. The fallen and ugly world we work to redeem to Christ can be a wasteland. As for this particular time, I understand now that this is not a personal desert. This is one of those moments when God calls me to be a missionary. I'm the one who needs to be an oasis. It takes a little time to build an oasis in the human heart. That's what the Lord has been doing in me.
Now that I have a little insight, I'm content again. I even feel energized. I had no vision for a while there, now I am once again drinking in the creative and redemptive waters of Christ.
Satan holds the world in a stranglehold. This we know. But we sometimes fail to realize what that means. The enemy wraps his hands around offices, hospitals, schools, homes, cities...One by one with focused intent the devil tries to squeeze life out of the little pockets of humanity in which we live and work. Don't believe the lies that accuse you of something less than faith when you feel sad or disheartened. It is the natural reaction of the thirsty person in the desert. It is oppression we experience and our strength is in that we recognize it for what it is. Yes, it might take us more than a moment or an hour of prayer to overcome it. But we are The Overcomers.
Go out into your desert with your head held high and know there is an oasis within you that will bring relief to the world that satan tries to squeeze the life from.
Don't fear the desert.
Spending the week focusing on sleeping and resting so I thought tonight I'd post something I wrote at the first of the year. Grace~s


Constance said...

The Lord gave me some comfort once. I was struggling with our daughter Jessica and all of the fallout from her choices. I had a lot of inner turmoil and I felt like I was stuck, in the desert, wandering around aimlessly. I half-jokingly said to God,
"If I had known I was going to be wandering in this desert for this long, I would've brought more provisions!"

God (not half-jokingly or otherwise) said to my spirit,

"Why would you want to do that when I am Jehovah Jireh, your Provider?!"

Um yeah, kind of lost sight of that!

Having lived in Southern Colorado where it's arid and dry I was delighted to find the beauty that lies within! It's comforting to know that those pinyon pines are strong and hardy. They have to be to withstand the harsh conditions, being twisted and bent as the winds blow across their surface...
May we all be linke Pinyon Pine trees, hardy resilient little buggers!

Mrs. Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Mac said...

re-read your post with dessert on the mind ... it's quite hysterical

"And most of all, every morning I stop still and quiet in my family room and confront the dessert, which is still visible if I look over my shoulder."

See what I mean.

Honestly Sara ... I kid you not, I thought you were talking about tarts, pies, cakes, cookies ... I'll go re-read with waste land in mind.