We work back into our lives and can’t seem to find a turn, or decision, that was grossly out of line with the word of God and yet we know that there is something keeping us in the desert and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to regain the sweet communion we’ve known with the Lord. We know our lives are His and all we want to do is live that life to His glory. Oh how hard it is to be in love with someone who is ignoring us…that’s exactly how it can feel.
I suppose my perspective isn’t unique. I believe that others have come to understand the nature of such seasons but for me, I have learned to equate these times with the season of winter. Cold and barren and seemingly lifeless, winter appears to be a desert of sorts and for many, it can be a very depressing time of year. The cold permeates beyond our skin to our very soul and the sting of it can paralyze the sturdiest of saints.
Yet in the winters of our faith our journey isn’t dead or even dying. In the winter of our faith the unseen areas of our connection to God are growing and multiplying – our roots are going deeper searching for the sweet taste of Jesus love on our lives and the deeper those roots go the stronger we become, the more we can grow, the richer our walk will become.
There seems to be such a silence in winter. The birds have flown to warmer climes and the trees can look like something out of a horror story. The thing is that in order for spring and summer and harvest to be successful, winter has to come. What happens in winter to the outside world determines how fruitful our harvest is going to be.
I remember one summer when a wind storm blew over a fairly large Russian Olive tree. There it was, laying on its side with it’s roots exposed to the world. The interesting thing was that the root system was very flat and shallow. Yes, the ends of the roots had ventured but they had ventured out from the base of the tree and not down into the earth. The tree had been pampered to the point where its roots didn’t need to dig deeper into the soil for nutrients because we had been feeding it all year round. In the end, the tree wasn’t salvageable. Our spoiling it, had essentially killed it.
The same is true for us. If our roots don’t go down deep into the living waters as described in Psalm 1, we will not be of any use in the Kingdom. As a matter of fact, the situation could kill our faith and leave us unable to minister or even see through the fog of our lives into the eyes of our Savior.
The Palm Tree is an excellent example of what we should become as we push through the deserts of our faith. The Palm Trees roots are so strong and deep that a hurricane can come and blow that tree over until its leaves and very top are touching the ground. It will look like it should just be pulled up by the roots and fly away but it won’t. The roots are so strong that they will keep that Palm Tree in place and when the storm is over? The Palm Tree stands back up to be the glorious tree it is.
Sure, its leaves may be a bit tattered but that is nothing in light of the fact that the storm tried to take that tree out completely.
In my reading this morning I was struck once again with how simple it was to dwell in the favor and blessings of the Lord. In the Old Testament, wherever the Ark of the Covenant was – as long as it was in Israeli territory – the people who lived with it on their property prospered. Everything prospered as if a mini Garden of Eden erupted in the midst of the desert. The people who lived there didn’t usually ask for it to be put on their property nor did they necessarily change their way of worshiping the Lord. The simple fact is that wherever the Ark is it blesses the people.
Certainly if it was in enemy territory it had quite the adverse effect. But the thought that God dropped into my spirit was, “Is the Ark of the Covenant in your house?” Meaning? Is the house you live in a place where Jesus lives? And if so, myself and all around me should be richly blessed and highly favored without some special ritual or service. Just the presence of God causes one to rest more richly in Him and do more in representing Him.
When we are faced with a desert time it could be a good time to do some spiritual house cleaning. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and take over your home and business and relationships and everything that you have. Give Him room to move in your space and let Him have His way in your life. Surrender to the silence knowing that the word of God is active and mighty enough to speak life into your faith. You may have to look at your desert from a different perspective. Start to celebrate the incredible spring and harvest that is going to come out of the quiet time you find yourself in. Nothing is wasted in Gods Economy and that included our times in the desert.
Matthew 4:11 – Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.