Beauty in the Desert

Yesterday I mentioned a time 15 years ago when I became familiar with the desert.

Due to all that was happening in our lives at that time, I assumed  the dryness and darkness in my life was simply and only because I was sinning. I wasn’t trusting God. I wasn’t thinking biblically. I was just feeling sorry for myself and wishing life was different. My and others sins were the reason why I found myself in a bad place. Period.

Deserts, to me, were ugly, hard places to avoid…especially since you only got to those dry places because of some wrong you had done. This was before Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression or Ed Welch’s Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; wonderful books that offer hope and healing to the discouraged and depressed. Back then the common thinking was depression was primarily the consequence of wrong or sinful thinking or decisions. No wonder people (including myself) were hesitant to talk about it — which is exactly what is needed!

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The thought of the Lord leading me into the desert to speak tenderly to me (Hosea 2:14-15) was a surprising thought. And how in the world could vineyards — with their beauty and fruit — thrive in the desert???

Prior to the last six months, God has helped me to look back on my late 1990’s desert experience as just that: a really hard season that produced many good things in my life. During the recent challenges I’ve been walking through, though, those comforting thoughts escaped me. Over the past few weeks God has graciously brought a fresh hope-induced perspective.  I am experiencing genuine relief for my soul and  I will someday look back on this dry time with the same eye toward God’s faithfulness.

By God’s grace, that’s starting to happen!

Does the thought of God leading me into the desert disturb you? I wouldn’t be surprised. But if the desert was a place God led Jesus for His good, then why wouldn’t He lead us there? I can honestly say that the hardest seasons of my life are those where God did speak to me with tenderness. And on my retreat last week, He did just that.

I even received some Fatherly correction from Him.  Tender. Clear. And with love. I look forward to telling you about that next week.

The desert is really hard and really helpful.  Only God can do that.

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4 thoughts on “Beauty in the Desert

  1. I have lived in the actual desert for the last eight years and during high school and the mid 90’s. The desert is a wonderful place. One can see for miles so clearly, and it is very quiet. This seems a great place for God to teach us spiritually too. And the hot, dry climate is a perfect backdrop to really drink in the joys of God’s blessings when he rains them down. The scent of the desert after a rain is truly heavenly. Thanks for your thoughtful insights, Sheree.

  2. I have been in a depression on and off since my first husband stold our son and disappeared for 18 months. It was a miracle I got him back. I need God to show me the way. I am fighting my depression again. I don’t like taking medication and I know that with God’s love and guidance I can get away from these man made chemicals and find my way back to his love. Thank you to my dear friend Nancy whom I have known since 1968 for sharing this sight with me and helping me to get back to the right road. Lbayer

    • What a horrific ordeal you have been through. You reaching out to God is an evidence of your humility and His pursuit of you. I trust you are under the care of a competent physician. Please don’t feel badly for taking any medications that are needed during this season as you continue reaching to God for help, comfort and strength. My post on Friday has a short video clip from a man named Ed Welch you wrote a compassionate and helpful book on depression called “Depression: A Stubborn Darkness.” CCEF (The Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) also has wonderful, kind and qualified counselors in various cities who may be a resource of you if you don’t have someone who is walking with you through this. How kind of God to provide your friend, Nancy! She is truly a gift.

      May God continue to help you! You are doing the right thing by reaching out to Him. I pray He continues to strengthen you to keep reaching.

      Blessings! Sheree

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