One of the most exciting and unforgettable experience I’ve had since I moved to the UAE was to see the Desert. I’m sure some of you may be thinking ‘what’s the big deal about that?’
I was born and raised in a city in India and the greens were a common sight even in empty spaces. But miles and miles of sand is something I imagined when I read about the Israelites walking through the wilderness. To experience it first-hand was an exhilarating experience! I know a lot of foreigners even spend a small fortune to come and witness this beautiful array of nothingness.
I’ve often heard people relate to the desert or wilderness when they are going through a tough time in their lives. Some may choose to call it dry, parched, lonesome or troublesome days. These are not times we look forward to or long for, but surely they cannot be avoided. I’ve heard prayers asking God to make a way in the desert or to see rivers (miracles) in such tough times.
But just as the desert is barren, vast and hot, it is equally beautiful and full of life. It is as much a creation of God as the greens. The patterns on the desert sands only remind you of a brilliant Artist who designed and made it all out of nothingness. There are animals, birds and other creatures that live and survive in the desert; therefore it’s a place of life.
The point I am trying to make is that our view and attitude in a situation make a huge difference to how we feel when we are in it. Some of the most powerful prayers and experiences have come out of ‘desert’ times. We learn to trust God and seek His will. When all else fails us, we feel protected and secure in God’s hands when He sustains us through such times.
We see a woman named Hannah in the Bible, who was childless and was often provoked by her rivals for this. She wept before God for a child and made a powerful promise to God. Hannah gave birth to Samuel and gave him to the Lord, just as she promised she would. Her son Samuel is listed in the Book of Hebrews 11:32, in the “Faith Hall of Fame.” She was perseverant through her ‘desert times’. Job lost everything he had but through the pain and sorrow, he received revelation of the greatness of God.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2, 3
Desert times help refine us and allow us to see the beauty and character of God as a Father and our closest friend. Let us pray earnestly that God may teach us to see what our earthly eyes may not show us, but only that which the spiritual eyes can reveal!
“God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden. The best gift of the desert is God’s presence. The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey.”
― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World