Often we go through difficult periods or circumstances in our lives. These kinds of places have been described as “desert” places. The desert is the place where you think you will die. Yet even the desert serves a divine purpose. Consider Craig Barnes thoughts on going through the desert from his book, Sacred Thirst:
“Perhaps the most important thing to remember about the desert is that God never wants anyone to stay there. There is no easy way out, but the worst mistake we can make is to get used to living in the dry places. The only point of going through the desert is to get to the Promised Land, where we are at home with God. And the only way to enter the land is to realize that the thirst we feel is actually a longing for the sacred. (p.14)
Along the way in the desert, we may do a lot of things that lead us away from God and from the future he has prepared for us. Anything we do to turn away from God is what the Bible calls sin. We sin by turning to other gods, by doubting the faithfulness of the true God, and by constantly complaining about how much we hate life in the desert. Still, our greatest sin is when we give up hope and stop looking for the stream along the way. (p. 15)
Have you settled into your dry place, thinking this is all there is? Do you recognize your thirst as a longing for God? What are the things you have turned to instead of God to find comfort in the desert? Do you spend most of your time complaining about the desert rather than looking for the stream that brings life? What divine purpose might your desert serve in your life today?