Several years back, The hubs and I made the crazy decision to travel from Missouri halfway across the country to California with our three kiddos; who were all under age seven. See, it was crazy. Right? Oh and I forgot to mention we drove it straight through, all twenty-six hours. And even though my kids traveled like champs, I still have no desire all these years later to ever do that again.
Now, as you can imagine, or if you’re familiar with the west, we drove through bookoo’s of the desert on our trip. As we traveled state to state, we had to be careful to plan accordingly for pit stops to refuel the truck and ourselves. When the fuel gauge got to half on the pickup, we stopped at the next station for gas. You see, it could be hours in between stations to refuel, and I sure didn’t want to be stranded in the desert with three kids.
This week God began to remind me of this story and the importance of preparing for the desert, spiritually speaking. It’s just as important, actually, scratch that; it’s more important to equip ourselves for a spiritually dry season as it is to prepare in the physical.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has walked through a desert season. And it just so happens, I have recently come out of one, and while I’m enjoying the view from the mountain top, I realize that it’s inevitable that I will once again go through another valley or desert. So how can I prepare for such a season? What steps can I take to make sure I come out of the desert full of joy and faith?
To be completely honest, I only have one thing I can think of to share with you. I wish I had a big list of incredible thoughts to rescue you from the season your going through or perhaps will face in the future, but I have just one. And that is to stay in constant communion with the Lord. That’s it. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Well, I wish it were as simple as it sounds. Living in constant communion with Jesus is a lifestyle. It isn’t a list of to do’s, but it’s making a choice to live every moment of every day with Jesus. It’s being in His word, filling yourself full of truth, it’s choosing to be around people who build you up and encourage you in the faith, it’s talking to the Lord throughout the day. It’s sharing your thoughts and request with Him. But it’s also making time to sit at His feet and listen as He guides and directs our path through every season. The only way to come out of the desert full of joy is to be filled with the giver of joy.
When preparing for a trip across the desert, there are two things that you need to survive, food and water. I think we can all agree that these two items are essential, and not just on a trek through the desert, but to survive period. And this is true in the spiritual as well. To withstand a spiritually dry season, we must eat from the bread of life (John 6:35) and drink from the living waters (John 4:14) of Jesus.
The past two years have been some of the most challenging years of my entire life, I’ve walked through the longest desert, sometimes wondering if it would ever end. So when I speak to you today, know I come to you from experience. And I can honestly tell you, the ONLY thing that got me through this season was Jesus. And there were many days I didn’t feel like being in community with Him, but I was determined to push through, fight the good fight of faith, and hold onto the promises He has made me. I decided there was no giving up, no giving in, and even if it took forever, Satan would not beat me in this.
Friend, I pray your reading this from the mountaintop, but even if you aren’t in the desert, there will come a time, and you need to be prepared. So don’t wait till your going through it to be in constant fellowship with Jesus, start today. Get so full of the bread and water which is Jesus that the desert doesn’t stand a chance against you.
If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear. You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away. Your life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help. Job 11:13-19