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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Strength in the Desert

Series: Flowers in the Desert

Psalm 22:19 ESV

Psalm 22-23 (David wrote)

Psalm 34:18 ESV

A very strange thing happens when life overcomes us and we lose all strength, or at least we lose strength as we know strength.

When that happens life seems desert dry and dull.

I remember the first time I flew into a city surrounded by a desert. It was years ago. I was feeling fine on the plane but within five minutes after I got off the plane I developed a horrible headache. I took a few ibuprofen but it didn’t even make a dent to the pain.

Long story short, it turned out I was dehydrated from the dry dry climate and I just needed to drink water…lots of water!

A dry season does the same thing in our lives.

When we are suffering and emotionally dehydrated, we need to replenish our emotional self.

Unfortunately, knowing how to do that can be tricky.

Many people try to escape from their emotional pain. Especially in today’s world, escapism is a common way to cope.

An example of escaping when we are in a dry season would be to deny we are hurting and fill the void with something that will dull the pain. The problem with that kind of coping is that the pain remains intact.

It will resurface.

Often when some unrelated tragedy happens, we are faced with our old pain and our new pain. Escaping again and not dealing with either issue will only make it worse.

Running away from your pain is not the answer…ever.

Being faced with the death of someone we depended on and not allowing ourselves to grieve will only exasperate the grief.

Fortunately, we do not have to face it alone.

When we stop and face our pain and our grief, and we turn to God, the Spirit can guide us through the dark nights ahead we will face.     

Psalm 22:19 tells us, “But you, Lord, do not be far from me.    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”

It’s interesting that when we grieve and we internalize our grief, thinking we are carrying it alone we are (in a sense) choosing to carry it alone.

God knows when we are grieving.

God grieves with us.

The psalmist is so right when he points out that God is right here. God is closer than we think.

Even though the writer posed it as a question, it’s almost a rhetorical question. It’s almost like the psalmist is saying, “don’t forget my pain!”

The writer knows he needs God’s strength and comfort and is asking God to come quickly.

There are times when we all face the same dilemma.

We are human and we have questions.

We feel alone and need to know we are remembered.

When that happens, asking God to comfort us and to show us the “way” is appropriate.

It’s no wonder when humans who are struggling and have struggled for centuries, turn to the Psalms. David’s name appears as author of 73 Psalms.

David wrote Psalm 22.

David also wrote the most quoted psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…” Psalm 23.

David knew great pain and heartache in his life from King Saul and also from decisions he made. David knew turning to God was the right response.

He knew God loved him no matter what and God would never fail him.

God did not fail David and will not fail us.

Whatever David faced, he faced it with God.

Especially when we are in a dry season, God is right there with us. In Psalm 34:18 David wrote a promise that we can always rely on, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Spiritual Practice: Dry Season

The yareta plant is a hearty evergreen plant that can survive dry harsh conditions and can live hundreds (even thousands) of years. The next time you are in a dry season remember God is with you, will care for you, and will bring you through the dry season. God will not fail you.

In God, Deborah


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