Our time spent here always has a purpose. It’s never wasted.
In my earlier journeys through the desert I have not been prepared. I came without food or water. My soul would dry up and I would feel as if I were dead. I identified with a quote from C.S. Lewis that says, “My heart is empty. All the fountains that should run with longing, are in me dried up.”
There is sadness. Deep sadness. A sadness I do not understand.
A friend wrote a blog several years ago in which he said “Whether you feel like you are on a sinking ship rowing for all you are worth and barely keeping yourself above water, or like every iota of happiness has been leeched from your soul, it is a horrible way to live.” He calls it soul sadness and it perfectly describes where I am at the moment.
The thought that goes through my mind often is “Lord, where is the joy of my salvation?”
I am fighting hard, harder than I have ever fought before while in the desert. I thought this journey might be different. Easier. I have food and water. I know the truth of the Word. I am crying out to God. I know He is here with me.
In past journeys I have had others walk along with me, but this time I walk alone. Alone with God. I don’t know if this is by God’s design or not. I only know the depth of my aloneness feels very real. And yet in the aloneness, and deep sadness God speaks to my heart. He is here. I know He has not abandoned me. He has not left my side. I KNOW this. I find comfort in this.
Last night I read Kim’s blog post on Psalms 18 so this morning I read through the chapter. I marked all personal pronouns (me, my, I) and I marked all references to God. I wanted to see what God had to say. Like Kim I don’t think I ever really thought about the fact that not only is God A rock He is MY rock.
This chapter reminded that indeed MY God is with me. He is" “my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge ; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (v2)
I can call on Him and He will help me. He hears my cry for help. And I know that as long as I pursue after righteousness HE will delight in me. He will rescue me. (vs 6, 17-23)
Then I came to the last part of the chapter. In these words God fed my soul. He reminded me of who He is. Knowing who God is brings food and water to refresh the soul.
“As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped….The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation, The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues peoples under me… Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name. He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever.” (see verses 30-50)
I know the word of the Lord is true. I know I can trust in it. So as I walk this journey again I walk with a hope I have not had on past journeys.
Because I have hope I can see this desert place as a blessing. It doesn’t make the journey easier but it does enable me to keep walking. I can feel the deep soul sadness but KNOW it will not destroy me. It will not weaken me. I will keep holding fast to TRUTH. I will keep hungering and thirsting after His Spirit.
So, I am blessed, not so much because of being here again, but because this time I know in the depths of my soul that My God will deliver me. And when He does I will come forth stronger and better equipped for whatever road I am to travel next.