When Your Soul Becomes A Desert

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This blog was originally posted in 2016 but is still a pertinent message from Cherie Hurt for today.

I used to write just as much as I breathed—or at least that’s what it felt like. I would go to bed with my next blog post in mind. I would often find myself scribbling notes across a beat up notebook when something came to mind. Blogging was my small corner of the world that helped me write out loud what my heart was singing. Sometimes I wrote about lifestyle, mostly about God and His love. Then, just as quickly as it started, I felt like it ended. Days became longer and words became harder, or should I say harsher?

I often have this small thought that I wish rather than waking up to a weather forecast on the daily news, I could wake up to a show that forecasts how I would feel for that day. I feel like no one whispered into my ear that the last few months of my life would feel empty as full as my life is. No one told me that I would fight back tears whenever someone casually tossed a “how are you” my way. And I never received a first class letter that the distance between my Creator and I would become so, so far. Yet, I don’t think I was meant to receive any notice of it, because sometimes we have to hit our knees hard and fast to see that we cannot bear our own loads.

I remember one of the first moments I felt like I truly fell head over heels in love with my Savior. I was in a small group my freshman year of college that met once a week to lightly chat about scripture and life. I couldn’t tell you what the purpose was of our study at that time, but I remember the scripture we read that night so vividly:

…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

—Revelation 12: 6 (ESV)

I can tell you that the wilderness to which she fled was more so a desert than a wooded place. It was dry and barren, but the Lord was there awaiting for her, water in tow. While the Scripture held so much more context than this alone, I remember thinking at that moment how thirsty I felt. I was dry and desperate and needy for a God, my God, that would quench my thirst.

Over time, we cannot be filled with one glass of water; we need a waterfall. But it takes work on our end and if we aren’t careful, our feet will slip off the ground on which we stand and the enemy will consume our minds.

I’ve been running into the dessert for a long time. I’ve done my part of opening up a devotional, reading the first two lines, and closing it shut. I’ve been looking at my faith as nothing more than a checklist. And I’ve let the lies of the enemy consume my soul. I’m over not shouting my prayers to God like I used to. And I am so done not giving God my all in worship. 

Sometimes we are led into the desert, with no warning, so that we can experience once again the unimaginable, unconditional love that our Heavenly Father gives. It’s time we repent from the lies we’ve been telling ourselves—His promises are awaiting us.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

—Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

We can run into the desert until visions of home are nothing but a mere line painted across the sky, but God will chase after you with everything He’s got. The sand may be between my toes and the sun beats down on me hard, but hallelujah for the moment that my knees hit the sand because I couldn’t run anymore. Hallelujah for the moments of suffering I have seen so that I could be reminded of how desperate I am for God.

Pour His word into your empty cup:

  • Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. —Psalm 42:7
  • I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought. —Hosea 13:5 
  • Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. —Isaiah 55:1
  • Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. —Psalm 51:12

Jesus,

I’m so sorry for seeing a getaway plan as a better option than clinging to You. I repent of the empty worship and prayers I’ve been sending Your way for too long. I long to be wrecked in a sea of Your unfathomable love. I have been so thirsty for too long and my knees sink into the sand I’ve found myself in. I have hurt, but You are my helper. Rid my anxious soul of the emotions that plague my mind and renew it each morning. Thank You for chasing after me when I thought I could outrun You. Even more so, thank You for catching me when I fell. Would You quench my soul with the waters of Your waterfall. Let Your waves sweep over me so that I find myself beautifully in over my head. You are such a good God, Father. Thank You. Thank You.

Amen.

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