How can Christian singles relate to being in a desert? When can our alone times with ourselves be used to our own benefit, such as our own self growth? The most important one is when we can hear and know that God is near. Dr. Jim explains how our strength can be restored because of our battles. We can take the beauty of a desert and make it bloom with our own experiences and expectations realised!
Are you chasing a mirage? Part I
Hiking is one of my most favorite activities. This makes it great that I live in the state of Arizona. You will find me two or three times a week climbing up Sqaw Peak at full speed. It is a 1.2-mile trail but almost entirely steps up – up – up. I can make it to the summit in less than 30 minutes winter or summer. The temperatures vary from 38 degrees in the winter to 90+ at 6 AM in the summers.
One of the joys of this activity is the time to take in the desert and reflect. It was on such a reflection that I thought of how the desert relates in a big way to the lives of single adults. Now please do not jump ahead of me and think that I am stating that it is the dryness of the desert that caused me this thought. There are so many wonders to consider.
The following thoughts came to mind:
1. God seemed to call person after person into the desert. The Bible tells us about Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist and even Jesus in the desert. God did not call them there to punish them. I find that the reason for each of these calls was so that God could spend some precious and intimate time with each of them. Each of the individuals mentioned above gathered strength and wisdom from their time in the desert.
“Expectations did not distort my journey and I knew for fact what lay ahead.”
2. Life too often looks dry and lonely. We see the thorns in the cacti and the serpents slithering around in our desert. What we miss is the fact that there is always an oasis in the desert. I moved to Arizona from California and it has taken me about three years to find the beauty in the desert. There is something very beautiful about the contrast of an oasis against the backdrop of the desert.
3. An initial impression one gets in the desert is that it is very lonely. Isolation can kill almost anything and the desert initially contributes toward this feeling. However, in looking around we find that there are so many others who have been called to the desert. Those who have been through a ‘desert’ experience find strong bonding material. There is strength in realizing that you are not alone and you have not been abandoned.
4. Sometimes I climb local mountains when it is before or after the day’s light. The desert allows you to ‘see’ things at a distance and with such clarity. The fact that you do not have so many trees, etc. to block your view allows you to take in a spectacular view.
5. The first few times that I tried to hike Squaw Peak were very difficult. I began by climbing about one-fourth the way to the top and increased it until I finally was able to go all the way to the summit. A very interesting fact took place when I was able to ” understand” the total path. My hikes became easier and easier to climb. I knew where the summit was and knew what to expect. “Expectations” did not distort my journey and I knew for fact what lay ahead.
“Gathered strength and wisdom from their time in the desert.”
God is always there!
A final fact has always been present when I climb ‘my desert mountain.’ God is always there! No matter what is going on in my life, the good times and days of challenge, God is there. I can scream, cry, laugh, or shout my joy or anger. It does not matter for I know that He is there. This is the real strength of the desert!
Check out one of ChristianCafe.com’s previous blog post about: Where is God?
“God is always there! No matter what is going on in my life, God is there”
Author of “Guide to Successful Online Christian Dating”
Psalms 36:8-9 ‘They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.’