I watched this YouTube video recently about a couple guys who went on a tour of Israel. One of the things they decided to do was take a hike from Jericho to Jerusalem. In that period, they experienced extreme heat, shortage of water, and the tough terrain of the land. All the things that we see in the Bible as the Israelites were traveling through the desert. We know David and his warriors were on the run from Saul or his son and also experienced this. I imagine Jesus and his disciples did as well as they were traveling from one place to another. As I thought about this, I imagined myself stranded in West Texas somewhere and how scared I would be. Between the heat and the possible snake encounters, I don't think I would make it. But like in these stories and the video I watched, the Lord protects and provides.
In the video it was interesting that as they ran out of water, they ended up coming up on fresh water in the most opportune time of need. They realized in that moment how these people we hear stories about in the Bible would have needed to rely on faith of God's provision as they voyaged through the desert. They would have had to wait for the water source to provide for their thirst (John 4:14). For Him to provide shade for them and direct their steps as needed (Psalm 37:23). It required so much faith for them to believe that they were under the Father's protection as they were on their journey.
As I watched, it made me think of Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Under His wings there is shade and protection. Not just from the sun obviously, but whatever may come to cause us harm.
As I mentioned before, traveling through a desert is not an ideal situation and I personally know that it would be really challenging for me in MANY capacities. But what about spiritual deserts? I've shared with you recently about my struggles this year in continuing to write this blog and doubting whether or not I'm hearing from God correctly. I have many friends who also have shared that this year they have felt like they were in a spiritual drought which could be equivalent to a desert for sure.
So what do we do when we're in this season.
We walk by faith and not by sight! (2 Cor. 5:7)
Sometimes we don't feel God's presence and the road up ahead of us looks long and weary. It looks like if we take one more step we might just shrivel up and die. But just as we run out of all that we have left, we turn a corner and there it is, that spring of water and provision that we've been waiting on. We remain steadfast and take one step at a time.
"Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing. Whatever that is just do the next thing. God will meet you there." Elisabeth Elliot
From my experience, that can be really challenging when you don't even know which way to go. I am definitely learning that even if I do misstep, God still can use that for my good or use me in that area if needed to help someone else. We don't know the why's behind the routes He takes us, but we can trust that He's a good father and want's what's best for us even better than we could imagine (Luke 11:13). I just have to learn to not be such a control freak.
This reminds me of a revelation that happened last summer. We took Laila to a water park with a lazy river. While we were cruising the lazy river Laila was in front of us and she was lying back with her head partially submerged in the water just looking up at the sky without a care in the world. Multiple times she almost floated into a group of people in front of us and Luis would just grab her by the leg and redirect her around them. Never once did she have any worry that daddy wouldn't take care of her and guide her in the direction she needed to go.
I remember thinking, geesh if only I could learn to trust my Father for His direction and protection the way that she was in that moment.
So, that's my current mission. Learning to trust God even when the path looks dry and weary. I hope that this post encouraged you. Especially if you're in that season, sometimes knowing you're not there alone can be helpful.
https://youtu.be/0Ak4TTvR0UE Check out this video on being a control freak and this second one is the video with the men traveling through the desert in Jerusalem I mentioned