Thursday, November 17, 2016

Walking through the Desert

Psalm 61:2, I cry to you for help "when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (KJV).

Psalm 13 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
    light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
    lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with m


Open the cabinet doors and the cupboard is depleted. I'm down to a bag of dry beans and a dusty can of pickled beets. And someone just asked me to make a gourmet meal for a dozen people, using only what's available. How's that going to happen?

For years I've been told, God is your source. Don't look to anyone else to meet your spiritual or emotional needs. He is the one that fills you when you are depleted. What wasn't as clear was how a person actually tapped into the resources of God. The analogies abound (a cord to an electric outlet, gas to a car, sun to a plant, etc.), but what does that process of connecting look like? I'm reading, I'm praying, I'm here. So, now what? Is the extension cord too short?

Lately, when I've come to God, desperate for renewal, I've pleaded and begged, "Will you fill me? I'm so depleted right now." I'm seeking Him, so where is this abundant feasting and flowing river? (Psalm 36). Feels more like a few drops in the sand. Doesn't do much to quench my thirst and it's far from taking me to a place where I'm overflowing and able to love others well. 

My love is dried up. And I know apart from Him, I don't have much to give. (I John 4 is disturbing at best). I work and try and try some more, but my efforts leave me bitter, frustrated and depressed. It's coming out of me, not Him.

It's the vicious cycle of clenching and unclenching my hands. Am I willing to say, "Here I am" or am I more into protective mode? Lately, the questions and pain have left little energies for anything or anyone else. My heart is hurting and full of guilt. Where do I go now, Lord? What do I do with this junk? How do I repair this?

I'd love to say that all is regenerating and in bloom, but I'm still walking through some desert fringes. Even so, I'm more at peace with the discomfort. Answers are on the horizon and God hasn't left me alone (despite what I may feel at times). 

When you find yourself in the barren lands, what do you do? How does the Father coax you back to the water? What restores your connection to Him and others?

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