The desert is a dry, solitary place.
Not a place you want to be. Or is it? When Jesus was here ministering among us, He spent much time in the wilderness communing with the Father and ministering to the people, Luke 4:42, Mark 1:45.
When in the desert is our passion for our will, an answer to our problem or what we worry about? Do we believe we need to leave the desert? If the emphasis is on our supposed need He is not our Lover, our will is. In fact, not trusting God in the desert keeps us there.
Desert or Pasture
The word desert comes from the Hebrew word “midbar” meaning to drive.[i] Often we believe life drives us to the desert. We did not choose it. Midbar also means desert or pasture. The truth is fear and unbelief make it a desert, dry with no water. But, trust makes it a pasture with food, water and the glorious presence of the Bridegroom. If we focus on our need, or what we want, it will stay a desert. Focus on the Lover will turn it into a pasture. The choice is ours.
Leaning on Him or Yourself
Leaning on the Lord in the desert is not an easy lesson to learn. Proverbs 3:5 illustrates this point. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”
The word trust means to run to for refuge or to hope.[ii] We are to run to Him for refuge with all our heart. But, this is difficult with a crushed or broken heart. Because of this we must choose trust even though we are broken. So, the rest of the verse shows us how.
Seeing the Unseen
The word acknowledge means to ascertain by seeing. [iii] We are to see Him in all our ways. This means we must turn our attention from our circumstances and own ability fix things and focus on seeing Him in our lives, amid our circumstances. He is with us in ALL our ways.
Then, when our eyes are on Him, He will direct our paths. The word direct means, “to make straight the way, to make right, pleasant or prosperous”[iv]. So, if we keep our eyes on Him, He will keep us on a straight path, and we will come into a pleasant and prosperous place.
The bride’s fear chooses the desert. Her trust in God chooses the pasture. The trusting bride comes from His pasture leaning on him.
[i] Strong’s Hebrew Chaldee Dictionary of Old Testament Words, Public Domain
you sweep across my soul
not a friend
not an enemy
from that which I need
I wish for
I yearn for.
in the distance I see
a desert cross
and one who died for me.
He has the strength
that I lack
I will lean on Him.
© 2011 Debra Webster
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