On one occasion, we were at our mission church in Phoenix, AZ. Across the road from where we were staying was a park. Not a park with a lot of people and sidewalks, but instead, a protected piece of property where plants freely grew and where animals could roam. I ventured out cautiously to check it. What I found was the most wonderful experience – Experiencing the Desert!
Every day as I walked with no time limit I sang, “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own. And the joys we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” This is a line from the song, “In the Garden.”
I had ridden through the desert many times, but this time I was able to experience it. What was the difference? The difference was the alone time with God. Walking and talking with Him amongst the most beautiful terrain.
Isaiah 35:6, 10 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
A few thoughts from my experience:
- Growth is healthy. The plants are healthy and growing and the animal life is plenteous. There are many birds and noises of small animals that live in the plants. The plants are full of nourishment for the animals to live on. As I witnessed the healthy growth, I was reminded of God’s goodness to me. He loves me. He cares about me and even the smallest things in my life. He wants me to be spiritually healthy. He knows my weaknesses and He loves me still!
- Life is vibrant. The desert is not about dry land at all. It is colorful, alive and growing. My spiritual life should be vibrant, colorful, alive and growing!
- There is more beauty than barren. It is all in the outlook, the perspective. When driving through the desert it seems hot and dry. When experiencing the desert you see up close the wonder and beauty of it all! My spiritual life should be characterized by beauty and not barren. That can only happen as I journey with God through His Word.
- Watch out for thorns. They will stick in you and it will hurt. I stepped in the wrong spot and the thorns got me. Ouch! Life is full of thorns. We get hurt by all kinds of situations that come our way. Be prepared. Just like you should wear the right shoes when walking among cactus plants, you should be prepared for life’s hurts. Don’t allow the devil to defeat you with his thorns and thistles.
- Be careful of what might be hiding under the rock. I had a fear that something would poke their head out and bite me so I stayed away from the rocks. Be cautious in life. Stay away from the wrong places and from situations that will pull you down in your walk with Christ.
- The quietness is almost deafening. We live in a noisy society and forget the beauty of listening to the animals and just hearing nothing. God speaks to us in a quiet voice. Learn to be quiet so that you can hear the still small voice of God.
- Look for the beauty, not the barren. The first day I saw the dirt with no grass, but as I experienced the desert I saw a totally different view. I saw tall Cactus plants that were strong and healthy. I saw small rubbish plants that were very nourished. I heard birds and witnessed them feasting on water out of the cactus. It’s beautiful and not barren at all. What do you see in life? Do you dwell on the negative, the hurts, the barren? There is another side that you can see, experience and enjoy! Find it today.
Don’t live in spiritual barrenness. God has a healthy, beautiful Christian life filled with wonderful blessings awaiting you! Experience the beauty of your desert today!