I have been on an unhappy journey. Rather than go into the negativity of such a journey, I’d like to focus on what has been positive. Positively, God has carried me through this. I’m reminded often that without trials, it would be harder to appreciate good times. I recently read an article by Ruth Chou Simons, which really expands on this thought. This article is from Our Daily Bread Ministries and I really thought I should share here:
When I was growing up in New Mexico, my dad would take us on short road trips across desert highways. I’d close my eyes and snooze once we left the city and entered the miles and miles of hot, dry desert. The desert is a place to be avoided at best or ignored at the very least.
It’s easy to show up for beautiful experiences but hard to not just sleep off the things we’d rather skip in life.
Maybe it’s a situation that seems irreconcilable, a circumstance that continually chafes, or a trial that appears to have no end. Maybe it’s a season that feels like nothing living can survive and nothing new will ever grow. It’s hot and dry like the desert, and makes us desperate for sustenance and provision in a way lush growth never could.
Perhaps that’s why God chose to bring His people, the Israelites, into the desert before leading them to the Promised Land. He could have easily made the journey quick and painless, ensuring an uplifted morale and enthusiastic praise. Delivery and provision all at once! That’s how we typically want God’s help – right now and without difficulty.
But just as He demonstrated with His people in the desert, He’s more interested in capturing our hearts, receiving our genuine worship, and proving Himself faithful rather than the provider of quick fixes or temporary solutions. God purposes to give us Himself. The “way” made in the wilderness for the children of God was much more than escape from their enslavers, safe passage through the Red Sea, the daily provision of manna, or entry into the Promised Land. It was a picture of the one way, truth, and life we would ultimately know through Jesus, our Way in the wilderness of sin and death.
When we have eyes to see it, there’s so much beauty to behold in the desert. It’s lush with life that learns to survive on what He provides. It’s grand in its praise of the Master Creator. It constantly whispers of His enduring faithfulness. In a physical desert or a spiritual one, Jesus alone is the author of our hope – our balm and sustainer.
For those of us traversing what feels like wilderness, there is hope. God leads us to the desert to reveal the stream only He can carve out of the wasteland. He allows us to experience the deepest thirst so we can know the greatest satisfaction. We may feel disoriented but God makes a way in the wilderness. In the desert, we find God undeniably sufficient in the face of the seemingly insurmountable.
Whether our circumstances change or remain the same, whether we feel relief or not, whether we experience lush growth or press on in drought, we can hold fast to hope in Christ, the source of living water! In Christ, we welcome a downpour of sustaining grace by way of redemption and see the beauty of the landscape He’s led us to. He’s our only hope in every season . . . even in the desert.
Then, now, and always, God’s primary purpose for the desert is to woo his people to Himself and to demonstrate His faithfulness. He chose the desert then, and He uses it now to show us the beauty of hope – hope in Christ. Stay awake, He has so much to show you in your desert season.