Hope for the Desert

Question: What does a blogger blog about when they feel that they have nothing to offer?

Answer: The desert.

This topic… the desert… has been appearing all over my life recently; in sermons, videos, a podcast I listen to. I cannot escape it. How fitting, considering I am in a desert in my life. This month has been the hardest of my life. Loneliness. Depression. Confusion. Anxiety.

One thing in particular keeps coming up when I hear these sermons/podcasts/videos about the desert: that this is where The Lord has placed me right now. And this is where He wants me to be in order to grow me.

Well then…. Amen and Amen am I right?!?!

NO.

Is it true that this is where God wants me right now? Yes. Will I understand someday and be able to use this as an instrument to expand the Kingdom? Yes. However, I think there is one giant misconception here: knowing that God has placed me in a desert right now does not make being in the desert any easier. 

I do what I know to do when going through a hard time, I cling to The Word, trusting that The Lord will provide me with the encouragement I need.

You hem me in behind and before; You lay Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5

This verse has popped up everywhere. I keep playing it over and over in my mind, repeating it, thinking of it, clinging onto every word, sucking every last bit of hope out of it.

Not really the type of verse that screams “THE LORD IS WITH YOU, YOU WILL BE OKAY” am I right? No, it’s gentle and poetic and does not beg for your attention; yet it has mine.

You hem me in…

hem: verb. to surround without escape

“You hem me in behind and before”… There is nowhere I can be that I am without You. I cannot be so alone that I am without The Lord. The best friend I could ever know is with me, behind me, before me, in my heart, next to me… ALWAYS, surrounding me.

“You lay Your hand upon me”… A hand of comfort, guidance, restriction. His hand us guiding us in all we do, even in the desert when we cannot feel it or see it, it is there. In the loneliness, He is surrounding and in the confusion, He is guiding.

Now THAT is hope. Hope for the lonely and the anxiety stricken. Hope for the depressed and confused. Hope for the desert.

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