April 17

Have you ever wandered in a spiritual desert or wilderness?  Our deserts can be literal or metaphorical. Desert images can be a reflection of our relationship with God, the literal representation that a barren desert can show us what happens when we try to live our lives without God. But the barren desert may also invite us to a deeper spirituality and help us to discover what is truly important in our lives. There are countless literal examples of people wandering in the desert throughout the Bible. When we read those passages, God always takes care of his children and they find their way out of the desert. 

So then why is it so difficult for me when I am wandering in my own personal desert? I have been there many times before. I usually try to fight it, but I have not found that successful.  I want to know “why” I am there and how to get out, like yesterday. Sometimes, we just don’t know why we are there, but sometimes we do. We can learn lessons from our wanderings. I have come to realize that in my own life, it is just part of the many seasons in my life. God brings me out of it, every single time. I know that, but I still struggle when I am there. I tend to isolate myself, even stay away from church and church friends while I am in the desert. That doesn't make any sense to me, but I think maybe with me, it is because I just can’t smile and say everything is fine, and I am afraid to tell folks how I really am. I have a few close friends who I know I can be myself around and I confide in those friends at those times. 

I have come to learn to let myself wander around and try to appreciate the view in the desert. Deserts can be beautiful as well as barren. Sometimes I try to just change my view - put my face to the sun, listen to music, or look around at God’s creation to help me see the beauty while I am feeling spiritually lost.

The deserts of our lives can be troubling places, filled with loneliness, isolation,
doubt and temptation, but they can also be a place of deep spiritual renewal filled with hidden beauty.

Lord, help us to reach out to You when we are wandering in the desert. Help us to trust in You and Your unfailing promises  and know that You will be with us always and forever. Amen.

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