He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs.
I live in Arizona where cactus surrounds the city. While I love the stately saguaro that lifts its arms skyward as if praising the Lord, I am not a huge fan of much of the other desert life. There are hundreds of varieties of cacti and people love to transplant them in their landscaping. Not me! I love the lush green of other locations, where winding paths intertwine with trees, flowers and waterfalls. Truthfully, cactus reminds me of the desert experience that believers in the Lord travel through sometimes.
If you have never found yourself in a “desert experience”, let me warn you, it’s a rough and tough time. You feel far away from God, totally hopeless and your joy is limp. We know God didn’t move; we are the ones who took a few steps away from Him. We wonder why and can’t quite figure it out. We simply know we feel a distance from God. And desert experiences are felt by all Christians, including the spiritual giants. One of the “giants” is Chuck Swindoll. He is my spiritual hero and has spoken volumes into my heart with his honest approach to life. I first “met” him in 1982 and have been influenced by his love for the Lord and care for people’s growth as Christians ever since.
USUALLY the reason we feel distance is that the enemy of God, the enemy of our soul, has pulled us ever so lightly away: directing our eyes off of the Lord and onto life’s details. The enemy isn’t dramatic about it and it happens without you even knowing it has occurred until all at once, you feel stranded in an island of dry sand, parched for God’s love and His word.
Know this my friends: God will never leave you stranded in the dry desert. He doesn’t want us there anymore than we want to be there. He uses these times in our lives to build us up in our faith and helps us to find balance in our lives.
If you find yourself in a desert experience, find time for quiet time with the Lord. A weekend, a day, whatever is feasible. Turn off the noise makers in your home, sit quietly in a place that you are comfortable, and open your mouth for the Living Water. Tell God you need Him to refresh your heart and show you the way back from the desert. Spend time reading His word and listening for His whispers of love and encouragement.
Thank You Father, for giving us a way out of the desert and into the lushness of fellowship with You.
Trusting in the Lord,