John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 15:12 (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
What is it like to live in a desert? Without modern advances? It’s a fight for resources, a search for water, shade, and food. You feel empty and without provision. You feel alone, like the closest town is 200 miles away across barren land.
Have you ever felt like you were in a spiritual desert?
Have you ever felt that no matter how much you reached out and asked for God, He seemed so distant? That there was an impassible desert between the two of you? Nothing but mirages and tumbleweeds?
I’ve been there ladies, and let me be honest: it hardened my heart. I felt abandoned. Alone. Forgotten. It was as if someone had dropped me off without my consent and no one felt concerned enough to come looking for me. I asked if God loved me. If He was good. If He even existed. I spiraled down in the midst of my thirst for Him.
As Christians, we hear a lot about the promises of God. We’re told how He is great and always there and loving and merciful and gracious and everything else. The thing a lot of Christians don’t want to talk about is that sometimes none of that feels true. Sometimes it feels like our God has abandoned us, doesn’t love us, and doesn’t seek our good. The Bible tells us we will experience these feelings: God’s people have felt these things from the beginning of time. But what else does the Bible tell us? That their feelings were based on fear, not on truth. That God was with them, working for them, and loving them through everything they faced.
Can you imagine living in Egypt as a Jew in the Old Testament? Say you were the second or third generation. You’ve never been to Israel. All you know of your God is the myths people talk about, but you’ve never seen this glorious God act in your life. After all, if your God was so powerful, why were you still a slave to the Egyptians? Wouldn’t you think that maybe your parents were crazy and that the Egyptian gods were greater and more powerful than the Israelite God? Or that if the Israelite God really was the greatest, maybe He had just forgotten about you? Maybe He didn’t love you that much after all?
Life is hard. Fear and doubt creep in even when we don’t notice and can easily take over our thoughts until the one thing we are supposed to know for certain becomes questionable. Even if you aren’t in servitude, it is easy to find yourself in a situation that makes you question God’s love and promise of provision, but I promise you this, ladies: He has not forgotten about you.
He will never forget about you.
When we’re in seasons like this, it is hard to find the motivation to pray to God and praise Him. We’re angry. We don’t want to wait for our situations to change or for something good to happen. We want action now and when God doesn’t provide it, we turn against him. Ladies, please resist this urge. It’s easier to be angry than to be patient, but the pay off of your patience and faith in God is so much greater. That’s why today, I chose the song “Desert Song” by Hillsong United
“This is my prayer in the desert When all that’s within me feels dry This is my prayer in my hunger and need My God is the God who provides And this my prayer in the fire In weakness or trial or pain There is a faith provided Of more worth than gold so refine me, Lord, through the flame. And I will bring praiseI will bring praise No weapon formed against me shall remain I will rejoiceI will declare God is my victory and He is here” Sometimes when I am at my worst, it is hard for me to come up with the right words for God. I know He knows my heart, but I know that I still need to reach out to Him. That’s often when I turn to song. I’m the kind of person that will listen to a song on repeat for hours if its expressing the feelings I can’t put to words. This song does that for me when I’m in an awful place. I sing it out to God and it does work in my heart. I remember that no matter how I feel right now, I know, deep down, that my God is the God who provides. I know that no matter what is happening in my life, I must praise Him for what He has done, is doing, and has promised to do. My God has never failed to deliver me through fire before, why would this time be any different?
“And this is my prayer in the battle When triumph is still on its way I am conqueror and co-heir with Christ So firm on His promise I’ll stand.” Sometimes you’re in the desert in quiet desperation. Sometimes you’re in the midst of the battle. No matter where you are in the journey of your trial, know this: Triumph is coming. Our God has already secured victory for us. It’s not that you have been forgotten. It’s that God is fighting for you, right this very second.
“All my lifeIn every season You are still God I have a reason to sing I have a reason to worship” No matter how horrible you feel in this moment, know this: God is still God. Even if you are in the depth’s of sorrow, remember that and you will have something to lift your spirits. You will have something to praise. For many of us who have been immune to the worst kind of suffering don’t really understand this yet, but God will often take people through suffering to bring them closer to Him. Imagine how close you would feel to God if there was no a single idol left between the two of you? If you had truly lost everything and turned to Him? How desperately would you cling to Him?
Praise God for He opens His arms to us no matter where we are spiritually, emotionally, or physically. God will love you no matter what. You must only turn to Him and dedicate your life to Him.
“This is my prayer int harvest When favor and providence flow I know I’m filled to be emptied again The seed I’ve received I will sow” And one day, you will feel God’s provision and blessing again. Don’t turn away from Him in this time. Remember even at the best, that God was the one who loved you at your worst. He is the only one responsible for your rise.