Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Drive Through the Desert...

"His splendor was like the sunrise;
 rays flashed from his hand,
 where his power was hidden."
Habakkuk 3:4

Sometimes we find ourselves traveling through a desert or wilderness time in our lives. These can be places we have wandered into on our own, or they can be places we must travel through in order to get to where God is leading us. Sometimes He sends us through that wilderness as a time of testing. But no matter the reason we find ourselves there…there are some things we should remember.
Last May my family took a road trip to Arizona. We drove straight through for 25 hours from Seattle to Phoenix. Before we left we sat down, looked at a map and planned out our route. This route took us through valleys, up and over mountain passes and across several deserts...or maybe it was just one really BIG desert. Some of the scenery along the way was absolutely beautiful! As we passed through the high mountain passes in the middle of the night it began to snow and along the roadside we would occasionally see wolves. Pretty amazing! Coming down out of those passes in the early but dark hours of the morning into the valleys, seeing the lights of the cities below was incredible, too. But we knew we had to travel through that desert. We tried to plan the trip in such a way as to not be in the desert in the heat of the day. But, it was a really big desert!

I took over driving at 4am just as we began to get into the desert. Let me tell you, it was really dark! There are no street lights in the desert. No towns or houses or any visible signs of life, just a lot of darkness. Fortunately, the road through the desert is pretty straight. As I drove down that long, lonely stretch of highway, the sky slowly began to lighten. While it was still dark, I began to see dark shadows along the horizon. I couldn’t tell what they were. They looked a little like dark, ominous clouds. Was there a storm approaching? I don’t like storms and I sure didn’t want to drive through one! Everyone else was asleep in the car, so I just continued on, watching those dark shadows…not sure of what I was approaching. I never passed another car along that road. It was lonely. It was unsettling. The road ahead was uncertain.
Isn’t life like that sometimes? We find ourselves traveling a road that we have never been on before. We may know what our destination is, but the route is unfamiliar to us. Sometimes we find ourselves traveling alone, or with occupants who are taking a much needed rest. And there are dark shadows up ahead that we can’t quite figure out what they could be. Should we be afraid of them? Or should we just continue to drive straight into them? Only the morning light will tell….

The Lord spoke to me as we traveled through that desert. It has taken me almost a year to process some of it and I’m not entirely sure I am finished. But I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you. And it could take a while. So, I’m doing something new and different on my blog.

A series….

I haven’t decided what to call it yet. But I’m going to take you on my trip through the desert. Some of what I found was hot, dry, barren and a little eerie. But there is beauty in the desert. There is life in the desert. And there are lessons to be learned in the desert. And there are also rivers in the desert. Hey! Maybe that’s what I’ll call it!

So, are you ready? I would love to hear your thoughts as we go through this. Please leave comments or let me know if you find yourself in a desert. I would love to pray with you (confidentially, of course). Feel free to email me, too.

Oh, and those ominous, dark shadows I saw? As the sun began to rise in the east, I watched one of the most glorious sunrises I have ever seen, come right over the top of those huge dark ominous......mountains!

His splendor...rays of light from His hand.

See, there really is beauty in the desert!


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