Tuesday, June 25, 2013

streams in the desert

You all remember my post about the desert?
And how resistant I was to this new adventure.
I even went so far as to lobby against it biblically.
Saying to my husband, "You know in the bible the
desert isn't typically regarded as a good thing."
Visually I've thought of the desert as dry, brown, hot.
And in the bible so often it symbolizes being stuck.
That in between place.  Outside of God's will.
Not yet reached the promised land.

But I know.  Shame on me.
Please forgive me, those of you who live in desert places.

The Lord is always working on me.  Always teaching. Always refining.

The desert is God's country too.
There is beauty in the light, in the red sand,
the yellow blossoms, the wild life, and vast open space.
And God does miraculous things in the desert.

The pillar of cloud and fire.  Victory over the Egyptian army.
Bread from heaven.

"I will rain down bread 
from heaven for you."  
Exodus 16:4

Life giving water from the rock.
"I will stand there before you 
by the rock at Horeb.  
Strike the rock,
and water will come out of it 
for the people to drink."  
Exodus 17:6

He provides their daily needs in the desert.
"For forty years you sustained 
them in the wilderness;
they lacked nothing..."  
Nehemiah 9:21

They lacked NOTHING.

I just learned that there is a natural spring over the hill from
the desert house.  A spring that will bring water to our well
and attracts deer to the area.

And that is what reminded me of the scripture in Isaiah inside the
art piece of Arizona above.

"Behold I am doing a new thing; 
now it springs forth,
do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and streams in the desert."
Isaiah 43:19

This promise of hope.  The new thing that springs forth,
making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

It's so beautiful isn't it? I wrote about how much this meant
to me in a New Year's post from 2011.
And the devotional streams in the desert has long been one of
my favorite.  I recommend it often as a way of helping to
change the way you see your struggles, your desert places.

And yet, I still need reminding myself.
The Lord recently nudged me towards that sense of hope
He creates in the desert.  A way in the wilderness.
This little desert house.
Could it be a literal manna?
Live giving bread sent from heaven.

The absolute quiet.
The open space.
The removal of our daily distractions.

A space to dig deeper into the well of living water.
To seek His way in the wilderness.

A reminder to trust Him for
E V E R Y - T H I N G
just as the Israelites had to do.

A place to be still.
To retreat.
To see the desert places as
the blessings they are.

Where God is ever present.
Always providing.
Always filling.
Always healing.
Always knowing.
Always seeing.

When the Lord appeared to Hagar in the desert,

"she called the name of the LORD 
who spoke to her,
"You are the God of seeing," 
for she said, "Truly here I 
have seen him who looks after me."
Genesis 16:13

Him who looks after me.
Him who looks after you.
Because He sees you.
Those simple words carry so much comfort don't they?

And she named the well in the desert
"The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me."

This desert place.
I want it to be one where we grow closer to the one who sees.

"Draw near to God 
and he will draw near to you."
James 4:8

Because it is the very sustenance we need.

"Times of refreshing come
from the presence of the Lord."
Acts 3:19

Refreshment in the desert
until the day when we reach Zion,
our Promised Land.

"The desert and the parched land
will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy."
Isaiah 35:1

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