Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Desert

You have already heard about it, certainly in the church. It was during a meeting with the pastor, or during an interview with a pastor's wife or an assistant ...

"One day you'll have to cross a desert ..."
"Everyone must pass through the fire ..."

As long as we still do not live this experience, we can't really imagine it.

We imagine that one day we will pass by a strong event in which God will test us to see if our faith is really strong in Him. And of course, it is clear to us that we will fully succeed in this "test" because our faith is unshakable.

"I will never leave the presence of God for anything."

The truth is close to that, but as I said above, until we live it,we absolutely can't imagine what will really happen to us.

A few months ago, I made this prayer to God:
"Lord, I am really grateful for all that You have given me and for all that You have entrusted in my hands. During this year, You have even given great blessings that I did not even expected.
So I want to be honest with you: I think I don't know the true value of these blessings. I want to give value to all that You have given me, so I will never neglect them. I beg you, reveal to me the profound value of those great blessings that You have entrusted in my hands recently."

Today, I realize that my prayer was answered. Through the desert that I am crossing, I learn every day to give its real value to whatever God gives me.

Here's the best definition of spiritual desert:
"The desert is not necessarily the place of ruin, failure and defeat, but rather a place to learn more of God. God allows some deserts to happen in our lives, to teach us and to build our character. The truth is that there are things that can be learned only through a desert.
The desert is where we depend entirely on God. The place of the daily food of God. The more we depend on God, the more we trust him. "

A woman of God told me: "In the desert, you are alone. Nobody is there for us, we must face everything alone. And the worst part is that even God does not answer you."
When you're in the desert, I assure you that very quickly, all that's inside of you is screaming, "HELP ME! PLEASE! HELP MEEEEEE !"

But there is nobody who can help us, for 3 reasons:

1) Because if you belong to God, you're not going to tell everyone around you, you will be discreet. So, few people see that you are crossing this desert.
2) The few people who know what you go through, will give you words of faith and courage, but they will not always be with you to"caress your head". If they are of God, they will allow God to test you. Those around you can not cross this desert for you.
3) Even if they try to help you, each desert is different for each person: nobody can tell you exactly what to do, YOU are living it.

So, in the desert, you are alone.

But all is not hopeless.
Remember the children of Israel in the desert of Sinai : at the time of entering the desert, God did not tell them which road they should take, or how long they would have to walk. God did not tell them that He would walk with them throughout the journey to help them.
And yet ....
- They had nothing to eat, but food fell from the sky,
- They had nothing to drink but water came out of a rock
- They walked for several years but their clothes and shoes were never worn,
- They did not know where was the promised land, but a huge pillar of cloud guided them by day and a pillar of fire guided them during the night ....

Did you ever wondered why it was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night?
In the desert, the days are dry because the sun is burning mercilessly. This pillar of cloud certainly gave them freshness and even make them shadow as they walked behind it! And nights in the desert are incredibly icy... The column of fire had to warm them in addition to illuminate them in the completly dark nights.

God was with them all this time spent in the desert. Even if he knew that his children had to be alone to be able to fully confide in him, God has done everything to make this journey as painless as possible.
God certainly wanted totest them in the desert so they learn to fully trust Him even in the worst situations, so that when they come into the land of plenty, they will still be able to trust only in God.
For us who are His children today, it's the same. He even set that example and lots of others in the Bible so that we know what awaits us!

YES, each person must go through this experience, and not only once
YES, it will be really different and much more painful than anything you can imagine
YES, you will be alone for the cross
YES, this experience will be incredibly beneficial spiritually

So when you will go through your desert, remember this: it's really hard, but only those who hold to the end will reach the Promised Land. Do not trust what you feel in this moment : continue to hope and especially PERSEVERE.

Written by Aurore Desvarieux - France

"A servant that has the same characteristics as God does not only do His work, but overall, His will."