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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Getting Out of the Desert

Have you ever been in the desert? I don't mean a physical place like the Mojave or the Sahara. The desert I am referring to here is that place of dryness where your focus is on all the wrong things. It's a place where you let life's problems consume you and lead you to frustration, a place where you feel dry and far away from God. It's a place that all of us have been to at some point in our lives.

When you find yourself in the desert, problems appear to be around every corner. Your problems seem insurmountable. You feel lost, parched, and tired. Nothing in your life seems right and it can affect even your closest relationships. You may even feel like God has abandoned you. The interesting thing about the desert is that it is usually a place of self-imposed exile. You end up in the desert when you take your focus off God or keep Him at arm's distance. When you move away from God, your hunger and thirst increase and nothing seems to be able to satisfy them. But, there is a way out of the desert.

In Psalm 42:1-5, the psalmist compares himself to a deer, saying that as the deer pants for water, so his soul pants for God. When you are in the desert, when you are panting for water to satisfy that thirst that seems unquenchable, it is God that you are looking for. In that place of dryness, it is the living God that your soul is thirsting for. To get out of the desert, you must remember that it is God who is able to satisfy your thirst. Remember what it was like when, instead of keeping Him at arm's distance, you sought His presence and gave Him praise. When your soul is downcast, you need to put your hope in God, seek Him, and give Him praise.

When you seek God with all your heart, when you seek His face earnestly, He will hear your voice and answer you (Psalm 27:7-8). When you seek God with all your heart and all your soul, you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). And when you find Him and put your focus back on Him, you will no longer find yourself in that desert place because He will turn the desert into pools of water (Psalm 107:35). The water that comes from God is living water that is able to quench your thirst as nothing else can.

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