Hope in the Desert


Dry, barren, unbearably hot, and there is nothing as far as the eye can see. Movement feels impossible…the weight is more than one can carry. Looking across the dusty horizon, it is apparent that there is no relief in any direction…no green grass, no bubbling fountain, nothing to quench or alleviate this miserable state.

God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for you; my body faints for you in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

Psalm 63:1-2

While the land all around is full of grit, dust, and death, is it possible to look…up? What is it that I desperately seek in the land of grief and trouble? I thirst for God’s strength in my desperate situation! I seek His glory against the backdrop of pain. The water that truly satisfies.

Tomorrow marks 9 months since I started moving through that desert place. I stumbled, lost, through lands I didn’t even know existed. Worlds of pain and sorrow that left me in a daze, struggling for hope…and, at times, feeling that there was none.

Days, weeks, and months of confusion. Trying to understand three simple words, “Jana has died.” It’s still a phrase that can make me step back and say, “I just can’t believe she is gone…”

Nine months ago, today, was the beginning of the worst 24 hour period of my life. I could walk you through each hour, as I was awake, only dozing for about 20 minutes just before I found my sweet wife taking her last breaths on her own at 4:50am. From that point on, machines did the work we wished her body would have been strong enough to do.

It was then that I was tossed out into the middle of that dry, waterless place. In an instant I didn’t know where I was at or how to get back to anything that I recognized. It hurt, it felt like hell. I was alone and far from reality.

I’m looking out of my window, the bird lands quickly on the feeder outside. Happily snatching up a couple of the seeds that I provided for them, the bird gets what he wants and flys away. I see the green grass, the trees have almost completed putting their leaves back on for the summer, and the sun is brightly shining. I’m in a new land.

There is hope. God satisfies and quenches the longing heart. Seek Him. He is not far from any one of us. Look up, The dry, barren desert of circumstance offers nothing for your thirst. It is God, alone, who carries you through this place. Turn your gaze on Him.

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