Wide open, unfilled spaces can be utterly freeing. Anne Morrow Lindbergh in A Gift by the Sea rolled up the rugs in her “shell of a beach house” to encourage visual simplicity, a way of embracing the quiet. With this move, your schedule has been tamed, the phone stilled and the clutter hasn’t yet crept back onto the countertops. Here in the wide open landscape, you have the freedom to listen to the direction of your life once again.
“Therefore I will allure her and bring her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14
The desert can be fierce and unrelenting or it can be the quiet space where in the stillness God’s voice becomes strong again, where His hand becomes the only comfort, His table the only place we come to for bread.
This is the call I hear today: Be still and do not rush to fill the emptiness. Use this time to to listen to His voice. Start by brushing close to His tenderness. Don’t start with words, just practice His presence. Repeat the truth: “He is here.”
But there is another honest truth of life in the desert. And at first it feels like the opposite of the first truth, the gift of hearing the voice of God, but in reality, it is a further deepening. In solitude our emotions rise loud, perhaps even crying out, demanding attention like a raw wound.
We may have wrapped our wounds carefully in the busyness of our last setting, in the friendships and hard work, in the virtual and real landscapes that crowded our view. Now in the lack of distractions of a new move, we may feel deeply all that we lack, all that we have left behind, or perhaps all that we have always hungered for. Today, get still and listen to the unquiet within your soul. Let it rise to the surface. Be brave. Name it and bring it to the table with Christ.
Action: Get out a journal today and listen.
- What voices are trying to define your identity? What do they say about you?
- Where are you running when you get lonely? TV? Facebook? The refrigerator?
- What lies are echoing off the bare walls of your life?
- What do you fear you will never have again?
- What deep desires keep rising to the surface?
- Where do you go to get filled other than Christ?
Bring each one to the table in the next few days.
Jesus was allured into the desert by the Spirit for forty days in order to confront the temptations of the evil one. Today, confront the voices who are tempting you to believe their lies. Name them. Bring them out of the darkness into the light of God’s truth-filled presence. Then ask God what truth He wants to use to combat these lies.
Pray that your wilderness will not be wasted.
We’re on a 31 day journey toward falling in love with our zip code. Our family just moved down five states south and are loving the warm October. Would you like to come along? Slip your email address (I’ll guard it with my life) into the CONNECT box on the front page and we’ll journey together.