Our sermon series during Lent is called “The Land Between.” Pastor has talked about what happens in that desert place between slave and heir, that place of trial and testing. In the past two weeks, we’ve discussed how the Land Between is a fertile ground for Complaint and how the heat sometimes causes us to Meltdown.** I don’t want to pre-empt Pastor’s message, but God has already been dealing with my heart, showing me what’s ahead: Growth.
I wrote about how I wasn’t expecting my harvest yet in 2010, but I honestly didn’t expect to go through another desert before I was able to reap that harvest. Here I am, spiritually, wandering the desert and desperately trying to funnel any and all water God provides into my dry mouth. I’m quick to hold on to passages of Scripture that drift my way, grasping every word like a message.
I wander and pull at roots, trying to suck the moisture out of anything that might still have life, the mail might have a check, that commercial on TV might have a hidden message from the Lord, if I look hard enough and cock my head to the side, I’ll catch the symbolic answers written on the service station wall. It’s probably there, right next to the number for Lindsey and over the crude drawing of anatomy.
Anything green could be useful, if only I’m open and receptive and ready. I’m ready. I’m vigilant. I’m… still thirsty.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
But God is doing a new work in me and he’s doing it in the Church. At our Church home, he’s sending out shoots. Those who previously hated the idea of worshiping with instruments are now clamoring for more contemporary worship; some who disliked our outreach programs are eager, now, to donate, connect and serve. I am finding that people I previously thought I disliked have been a blessing to me.
And, it happened when no one was looking. We are taken unawares, at times, by desert growth. Night blooming flowers flourish after dusk and appear as if by surprise the next day. What I see as desert, God sees as a canvas, waiting to be painted. It’s going to happen, here, any morning. I’m going to awake to find Spring in the desert, my promise in full bloom.
What areas of your life are in desert mode? Where do you see shoots of green?
**The links launch a sermon player, where you can hear the past messages in this series.