After writing and re-writing this post, I realized that ^ this sums it all up. I was blessed to attend the National Youth Workers Convention this past week with the youth staff. If I were to share with you that experience, I would have to leaf through the voluminous amount of notes in my busted up "Crossroads" composition notebook - and it would most likely drive you crazy. As my friend says, we are a "skimming generation" of people... so I will spare you. In any event, Mike Pilavachi spoke to us one evening concerning deserts. Let's just say that although I am walking is a desert, I am not yet dying of thirst.
I stumbled upon this verse a couple of weeks ago and I have been reflecting on it a lot:
Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings."
What does this say to you?
This past summer, the series we were working on with the youth was called Thirsty. The pastor, and my friend, Jessica, talked about trees in the desert versus trees in more wet areas like what we are used to or rain forests. Where are you? Like this scripture reads, I am in a position right now where I feel like I am that tree in the desert with roots striving to reach God's rivers. Just stretching and wanting more of Him to enter in.
In the dry desert, we encounter God. I want more. I want to be pushed to my utmost extent in order to reach and feel God in a new way. I want to absorb all that He has to show me right now. But it is hard and it can be slightly painful being in this place. The beauty of it all is this: God provides and He nourishes. As the Jeremiah scripture says, there are rivers present and when we reach far enough, we are satisfied!
"The desert place is not that of the devil. It is he place where God meets us. It's God's place where He takes away all distractions so that we can focus on Him." -Pilavachi
Take heart, fellow desert dwellers: even fruitful trees survive in the desert.