Welcome to the next installment of Desert Days. There is definitely a specific focus to the writing these days, courtesy of the Lord. I find myself held in this place by His Spirit until He releases me on to something different. I wouldn’t wish it any other way (and pray you aren’t finding yourself saying, “Will she just get on with it already!”). Problem is, I can’t. Not until He moves me forward or stops speaking on this topic, whichever comes first.
So much, yet so little (activity-wise due to the healing process) has happened in the first three months of this year as I’ve continued this journey through the land of cancer surgery, chemo and reconstruction. I’ve recognized the Lord has drawn a keen parallel between the natural and the spiritual aspects of this entire expedition. Just how much recently came to mind…
It dawned on me that in the space of three weeks between January and mid-February, the Lord actually had me make a trip to the desert three times, each visit for a different purpose. Being acutely aware how intertwined is our spirit, soul, and body it was remarkable to see how He pulled off my ‘getting it’ when it came to this message of desert days.
The first visit to the desert was business-related but with a decidedly relaxed component to it. It was as though He had handed me those few days as a gift to help restore my body after coming out of the chemo season. Escape from winter’s cold clutches to the land of warmth and sunshine felt so wonderful. And it was my first time of seeing the ‘real’ desert complete with such variety of the cacti God created! However, it also reminded me of the starkness of my own body. Hair barely beginning to darken my bald head and both breasts gone, with only those aforementioned “love scars” branding my flesh. I welcomed the sun as a kiss from God on my beaten physical being.
Exactly one week after the first visit to the desert, I found myself headed to my own State’s desert. Not nearly as dramatic in scenery as Arizona’s desert, but then, this visit was all about God’s intimate ministry to my spirit. Again, He showed up with a gift. Caught up with Him alone in the middle of a worship session of hundreds at the conference attended, He handed me, in the Spirit, a large thick book that I held on my outstretched palms for the longest time as I stood before Him seated on His throne. After unhurried waiting, held in stillness by Him, six more books appeared, stacked on top of the large one. My spirit witnessed that the large thick book was the Word of God. And I understood that the six smaller ones have, from His perspective, already been written with His Word the foundation of each of them; they simply await His timing and my obedience for appearing on earth as they are in heaven.
Finally, less than two weeks later I was again flying back to the desert on business again, but ministry as well. This was a soul-purposed trip where God and my job required pouring out while He faithfully met me at God-set times in my mind, will, and emotions. Spiritual fodder taken into my soul for assimilating in my spirit.
All this transpired in the desert. This, my friend, is what pilgrimage with Him through desert days can look like…
Markers on the journey personally arranged by Him. His quickening of others so you may be where He wants you at His appointed time. Receiving you upon arrival with messages of life not death; real rest in Him; hope where your ability to see past your sandy feet has grown weary; and spirit, soul, and body encouragement – Living Water poured upon thirsty ground. In such soil, roots go deep and life sprouts.
There is a Beauty in the desert. A heart set on pilgrimage looks for and finds it, when it is searched for with all of one’s heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete (perfectly sound, entire, whole), without blame (irreproachable) at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:23 NASB)
All praise to the Source of “wellsprings” in the wilderness…