There is a reason why most people avoid living in a desert. Living conditions in really dry places are never favorable for life. Yes, there are plants, wild life, and people that have found ways to survive, but thriving in a desert is almost impossible. When you find yourself in a desert, all you can think about is water.
As you plod your way through the knee deep sand dunes, your mind remains fixed on the reality that without proper hydration you won’t be able to thrive. What you really want and need is water. Physically, I have never truly experienced what it feels like to be on the verge of death due to dehydration. Spiritually, I have. Frankly, I began and continue writing this blog post from this type of inhospitable territory. At some point, I looked around and realized how thirsty I had become, yet how little water I could find.
Sadly, it is mostly during drought-like conditions that you realize how much you love the rain. It’s so easy to take for granted the unending flow of a water faucet until you turn the knob one day and nothing comes out. This is where I have been. Having served the Lord now for many years, I am not blindly under the impression that every day will be like a spiritual Disney Land. I am fully aware that some days will be more difficult than others. Some days we are able to strongly sense God’s presence and on others the silence is unbearable. During the latter, you find out how deep your roots are.
In the extended dry seasons of our spiritual life, it can be tempting to become frustrated with God. When you pray and hear nothing you start to question everything you know. The enemy pulls out and flaunts the not so secret weapon of condemnation. You start frantically looking around for that thirst quenching water. You wonder where you went wrong and if the water is inches or miles below the sandy surface you are stumbling across.
In seasons like this, you depend upon the roots of your faith and the foundational truths of God’s Word. The roots that are the deepest will be depended upon for finding moisture and sustaining life. I know God wants us to thrive and that is His ultimate plan for our lives. However, during dry seasons I have found that sometimes you just have to survive until you thrive. Sometimes all you can do is collect the dew overnight and drink that.
Recently, I have just been drinking the dew and trusting in the promises riddled throughout His Word. Even if I can’t sense His presence sometimes, I remain sure that His word still brings forth life. Scripture says, “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring forth LIFE to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)
This is a very transparent blog post and I realize that…However, I don’t think it helps anyone to give off the false impression that you never struggle and act like everything is unicorns, rainbows, and glory clouds. People struggle, Christians struggle, I struggle…but we ARE victorious. I’m not victorious because of my great fortitude, but because of God’s Grace. I’m victorious because of Jesus. He has never left us and He never will.
His promises aren’t voided because the landscape seems dusty. We may find ourselves in a desert, but we are never deserted. God delivered Israel in the desert by piercing a rock and an abundance of water flowed forth. He makes pathways through the wildernesses and creates rivers in the dry wastelands. (Isaiah 43:14-20)
We all walk through dry places, whether we do it to ourselves or if it’s ordained by God. Though water may seem scarce during those times, it is actually only a rocky crust and a little faith away. Just because we cannot see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s only a matter of time before it will come gushing forth, nourishing the very depths of who we are. Those deep roots that sustained us in the desert season will only grow stronger and the ones that weren’t quite as deep will have stretched out and reached new springs. In the past, I have complained about the dry season, but I am learning to give thanks in the midst of it. This is growth. We will thrive, no matter the terrain around us, because we are not abandoned. (Deuteronomy 31:6) God will sustain us. He is and always has been faithful! Hydration is on the way!
“The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” – Isaiah 58:11 NLT