I am like an owl of the desert . (Psalm 102:6)
found His people in a desert land, in the desolate, howling
wilderness; He led them about, instructed them, and kept them as the apple
of His eye.(Deuteronomy 32:10)
What would you do if you found yourself alone in the middle of an empty desert? Would you simply choose a direction and strike out? Or would you remain where you are, conserve your strength, and try to make yourself as visible as possible? Certainly, you would scan the horizon for clouds, birds, or any sign that a certain direction held some promise.
There are times in our lives when we go through desert-like situations. These are among the most difficult to bear. For instance, when we moved to a new house late in the school year, my 7-year-old son acted like he’d been plopped down in the middle of a desert. He was a complete outsider in the school and the neighborhood. It tore at my heart to see his deep loneliness and feelings of worthlessness, especially since he had been so popular at his former school!
I sympathized especially because I was going through the same thing at my new job. Everyone was already busy on their own projects. There was no one who wanted or needed my help; no place for me to fit in naturally; no constructive way I was able to contribute. Perhaps I should have tried to strike out on my own -- but I felt doubly overwhelmed by the boundless expanse of technical material to be learned, together with the loneliness of not having anyone else to learn with.
Some people, when surrounded by spiritual wasteland, respond with vigorous activity--any sort of activity which can help them forget their solitude. Apparently they hope that sheer busyness will eventually work them out of their predicament. This may work for them--but for myself, I feel that the best approach in such situations is to be patient, wait, fast, pray, and be very watchful and alert for signs, indications and opportunities. Thanks be to God, this approach has worked for both my son and myself: gradually, the Lord has helped us both fit in.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You that we are Your pride and joy, the apple of Your eye. Though we may sometimes feel abandoned, you never take Your eyes off of us. You were with Jesus during His forty-day fast in the desert--and you are with us also during our desert sojourns.
Thank You that our lives are an adventuresome voyage through all kinds of spiritual scenery, including mountains and seaside, fruited plains and desert. Sustain us that we faint not; encourage us that we despair not; instruct and lead us that we do not fall prey to the Devil. We thank you for listening to us, Father, and we make these requests in the name of Your only-begotten Son Jesus, through whom we have received the grace of adoption into Your family.
Copyright © 1999 CrossPollen
Last Revised: September 7, 1999
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