Friday, October 12, 2012
My mouth is dry. It’s amazing how fast a parched mouth can consume a drip of water. Getting water in the desert feels great but when you finish it...man, you finish it. The heat is suddenly hotter, the sand is suddenly more gritty and your mouth is dryer than before you drank.
Maybe it’s just perspective. Maybe I got so accustomed to walking in the desert that I forgot what it feels like to not have to gut it out each and every day. But when that drip came I got a reminder of what it used to be like...for brief moment I forgot I was actually in a desert. So when I opened my eyes and saw nothing to the right, left, behind, and ahead...it has become harder to bear than before. I feel as if I have nothing left to strip away...except my very self.
For the first time I actually feel like my very core is being tested. Up until now, I have been able to walk this path knowing who I am. Now, I am not even sure I know that anymore. No...let me rephrase that. I know exactly who I am. The problem is that there is nobody around to see it anymore.
Desert walking is a lonely, lonely path. It is a time of testing, a time of refining, and a time of trusting everything you have built your life upon. But you must do it alone. Yes, people can come alongside you and hold your hands up...but it is you who has to choose to keep going. At first it doesn’t seem so bad. It almost seems like an adventure- a time of testing in which you will come out stronger and more prosperous. You still live your life, although it is a little harder. You still enjoy the same things, you still have the same interests and you still have the same routines. But then time goes by. And then some more time goes by. And as this time goes by it gets less and less amusing. You begin to withdraw- not so much in a bad way, but because the fighting is getting harder. You start to cut the excesses in your life to preserve your strength. You begin to turn inward and it takes everything you have to get through each day.
And one day you look in the mirror and you realize you have become the fight.
I know. I know it’s a scary feeling to feel like you are no longer there. I feel like I have a small glimpse into Job’s life. He went worshipping in the temple and enjoyed having dinner parties with his family and friends. Maybe he liked to sit on the hill and enjoy the view of the stars at night. Maybe he enjoyed the thrill of making a really great business deal. That was who he was...and then it was gone. Instead of telling jokes over dessert he was alone in a damp room wallowing in grief. Instead of shaking hands with business parters his hands were covered in bandages to hide the marks of his curse. Nobody was left to witness the man known as Job. But he was still there.
And you are still there too. I promise you will sing again. You will taste, and see, and feel, and dance, and love, and live. I know I am writing a lot about the desert and maybe you were hoping I would have something a bit more upbeat, but I set out to write my life. This is my life right now. Trust me...when the floodgates open in my life and this difficult season is over I will write about it. I hope one day you get tired of hearing about how wonderful life is! But for now, I am being true to my life. I believe that God is to be honored in all circumstances. I will testify of the time in the desert just as much I will testify in the time of blessing. Don’t ever forget that. Your testimony is now, regardless of where you are. And don’t ever forget that you do not need witnesses to confirm who you are...you have a Witness.
You’re still there...let's finish this thing.