There is a song we sing at church sometimes called “Be Not Afraid“. It begins with “you shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst”. I find that reassuring. It is especially reassuring to me during difficult times. It is poignant as well, since I actually do live in a desert climate. You see, Jesus is always with me. There are some days, when I get so caught up in the issues of the day or week, that I forget He is with me. Even then, He is here.
If you are feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, downhearted, or even apathetic, please remember that no desert is infinite. Deserts end, mountaintops are reached, storms and floods end. Perseverance is a challenge. But we can persevere. Even though our deserts continue today, along the path there are and will be some shaded areas and oases. These moments of respite, and supportive times with understanding people do help us endure, don’t they?
Remember the title of my blog is Believe Anyway. I picked it as a reminder to myself and others that no matter what, it is essential to keep believing. I encourage you today to Believe Anyway. Reach out, open up, offer support or ask for support from those who care. Remember, too that it is in giving that we receive. So if you feel alone, help someone. Volunteer somewhere. It will give you new direction and purpose. There are so many people in need, and it is good to fulfill a purpose outside of yourself or your own problems.
In the song I mentioned, there is this verse: “if you stand before the powers of hell, and death is at your side, know that I am with you through it all”. In very difficult times, I can find it difficult to FEEL that this is true. However, in my heart of hearts, I still KNOW that this is true. Does it work that way for you as well? What do I mean by that? Sometimes feelings precede knowledge. Sometimes knowledge precedes feelings.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones”. (Proverbs 17:22)
So during our tough days, if we try to find something that makes our heart merry, it is good medicine. It could be something as simple as gazing at something beautiful in nature like a flower, bird, or tree. It could be making some cookies to a shut-in, or just a neighbor. It could even be something like cleaning a room, organizing a cupboard, or planting some flowers! If our hearts become a little merrier, the sorrow will lift a bit, and we will be strengthened. If we haven’t been able to sense God standing near, we may be quite surprised to realize that He is there!
Indeed, we shall not die of thirst. He is the living water. We are not alone. Be not afraid. I do not know how my situations (or yours) will work out. What I do know is that He will be with me through it all. Many years ago, a friend of mine reassured me with these wonderful words: “God not forget”. He was right. God does not forget. He sees our skinned knees. He picks us up; we pick each other up. We know how to be like the Good Samaritan. We know how to be like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son. Others know how to do that for us, too. We are in this together. We are not alone. I wish you love and hope today. See this photo ~ it is desert and lake and forest, all in one. God is good. All the time.