Friday, May 30, 2014

The Desert


I am in the desert...
Everything is the same...
Wherever you turn all you can see is empty space and nothing else...
All the seasons are mixed up and you don't know whether it's winter or summer...
It would not make any difference anymore, 
'cause you can't feel the pain...
Thoughts can make you drift away for a couple of moments and warm you up at night, 
so you can fall asleep fantasising about that green land 
with exotic birds and trees full of colour...
...where you might have been once before and can't forget...
Suddenly, sandy winds wake you up, 
blowing in your face and you feel the cold running through your body.
Now, the dreamland has evaporated
and you can't think of anything else 
but how to escape from the annoying storm...

~ Iliana G. 
September 28, 2000.

I found this monolog that I wrote in 2000 and it was so fitting!
The moments when we feel like this, the moments when depression creeps in and tries to settle in our hearts and minds. It really does feel like a lifeless desert. No matter where we go or what we do, everywhere we look it all seems to be the same. Depression.

Finding something to be thankful for has been on my mind over the last 30 days, since my last post. Almost every day, even when things were not looking up, I was able to find at least one thing that I was thankful for. Some days that was hard to do, but not because I was not was because it is hard to see colour through the eyes filled with desert vision. Anyone who has been through this kind of desert would understand what it feels one likes being in the desert.

Life gives us deserts, however, and they can be incredible experiences. It has been a fully loaded 30 days in a desert for me. My initial reaction was dread and frustration, wanting to find that escape and go back to that happy and green place I am used to, with all the pretty birds and fruit trees, but every time I would wake up to the reality that I was still in the desert. I reached out to God with questions looking for answers and deliverance, awaiting the day when "this too shall pass"...Those are the moments when even praying is hard. Then, something incredible happened.

It was not obvious at the time, but the Lord responded and led me to fast. That was the same time we were going through Matthew 4 at the bible study, when Jesus was tempted in the desert. It was that day that God spoke to me through Isaiah 61 asking me to release my ashes so He can replace them with His beauty. It meant going to the pain, stop holding on to it and release it to Him. It was only then that He would be able to give me His beauty for my ashes. Three days later, the mooring after my fast, I experienced a visitation from my Daddy. He came not as the Almighty God that He is, not the Heavenly Father I pray to...but as a Daddy. My heart was filled with a love that I have never felt, a love for a father I would have experience but whom I never met. In one instant I felt like everything was going to be OK and peace filled my heart! Psalms 68 became real and alive and in that personal moment He really became the Father to the fatherless. The way that He took care of me from that day up to now was nothing short of miraculous, and that peace never left me.

The deserts in our lives, the unwanted experiences of void are also the place where we get to seek Him the most and find Him. It is the place where everything is stripped away and all we are left with is ourselves in out raw form, in our nakedness before God. It is in the desert that we get thirsty...thirsty for Him. Jesus said "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in me as the Scriptures said, from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water" (He was referring to the Holy Spirit)" (John 7:38-39). That was the same Scripture He brought to my mind while I was walking on the beach in Abaco last week.

The key was "Come to Me"...Jesus always calls us to Himself. In the desert that is the only place that we should go if we want to revive our spirit. It was the desert that prepared me for what was to come next. It was the desert that propelled me to go to Him so that He would fill me with the living water, with peace and clarity to see things that I needed to see and to discern situations that He knew were going to come. 

Today I stand in the knowing of the Truth that He is for me. Today I was shown how faithful God is once again and how much He is really for me even when the enemy tries to poison the eyes and perceptions of people I have trusted. Today was a day that the Holy Spirit was so much at work, conquering the battles forged against me. Today I was able to see and discern who is truly walking in the Spirit and who is walking in the flesh. It was like tapping into the spirit world and having the NASCAR VIP pass, constantly being one step ahead. Only the Holy Spirit can grant such revelation, peace and understanding in times like these. The deserts are a cruel place, but being able to see the manifestation of the Holy Spirit at work was priceless!

...and for that...Oh my GOD...I am THANKFUL to YOU!
To all who mourn in Israel,

    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,

a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

~ Isaiah 61:3

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