Never Lose Heart in the Desert of Life November 06 2014, 2 Comments

When you face uncertainty and doubt in the desert of life, I am here
When you face uncertainty and doubt in the desert of life, I am here…

For love whispers truth in subtle and gentle ways.
For love whispers truth in subtle and gentle ways.

Have you ever been in the desert of life where everything seemed barren? You may have felt lifeless, discouraged, unproductive, tired, weary, alone, or lost. It seems as if God has disappeared, and questions flood our minds. Didn’t God promise to “never leave us or forsake us?" What went wrong? How did I get here and how can I get out? I know it all too well.

The desert is a tough place to be, and it can certainly breed doubt, confusion and distrust in God, especially when you feel like you are trying to do the right things and don’t have much more to give. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel and go your own way.

But, the desert is a part of the life God designed for us – even Jesus spent time in the wilderness being tempted, tested, and tried. Maybe it’s a test you are going through. Maybe God is molding you and preparing you for the next season. Maybe it’s a lesson in humility or a time to examine your heart. We may not understand it at the time, but we can trust that there is always a purpose.

I spent a long time in the desert several years ago. I wanted to believe God hadn’t abandoned me and that He had a plan. I thought if I could just get my act together and be a better person, maybe then God would be pleased with me and show me the way. However, the striving got me nowhere and only left me more exhausted. Through the long journey, I began to understand that more than anything, God just wanted me to be still and “be” with Him. To be with Him is to know Him. To know Him is to know His incredible love and grace. To know His love and grace is to know true freedom and the fullness of life. It’s not about what we do for Him. It’s about receiving what He’s done for us — with no strings attached.

The desert is never meant to be permanent place. It is a sign that something grand is yet to come, if we choose to embrace it. Like running a marathon, going through the desert takes endurance and focus. We get tired and thirsty, but there is a reward if we make it to the finish line. And the outcome may be completely surprising, like Never Lose Heart was for me. I never dreamed of writing a book. It’s a product of the desert!

I admit it’s difficult to hear God’s voice in the desert. That is part of the reason it’s called the desert – you feel disconnected. It doesn’t necessarily mean that God has stopped speaking. Perhaps He wants to speak to you in new ways. It can be difficult to “be still” in this day and age, but if we can find a way to clear the clutter from our heads and listen for His gentle voice, that is where the treasure lies – the true wisdom, knowledge, and ability to let go of the lesser important things in life. Whether it’s through nature, scripture, prayer, music, art, people, or any other way, His gentle voice is the stream in the desert. Be consciously aware of what’s around you. And who knows -- maybe you will see a heart!

Never lose heart.

Deuteronomy 8:2
Isaiah 43:19