Flying into Tucson, I looked down and saw brown. Lots of brown ground with not much that I would call pretty—not like Wisconsin in the spring where budding trees splash green against robin’s egg blue sky, and purple and yellow are pushing through with crocus and daffodil.
I have come to the desert. Dry and dusty. The mountains blur in the haze of windblown ground. Where is life here? From my perspective, high above, life looks lifeless, barren.
Sometimes we have to come down from our lofty places and get close enough to the prickly to see the beauty. And sometimes the beauty is so closed, so bound, we must wait patiently for an unfolding.
I come to the desert each year to remember. I come to remind myself to look at life from differing perspectives. I come to preach truth to this dusty, dry, and cracked soul, longing for refreshing on this often hard life road. I come to say . . .
Even desert places are holy places.
For there is life, even in the desert when one opens and looks. There is always life, even in what seems like death— when we walk with Christ. The curved-billed thrasher swoops and lands on the brick wall, eyeing the strawberry fruit-gift I offered.
The contour of the mountain range tells my eyes that ups and downs are better than flat lines. Because flat lines mean death. I will learn to love the highs AND the lows, because they draw us closer to God, to growth.
C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
This year here, I hobble along with an injured knee. I can’t rush as usual. I am slowed. And the forced slow causes me to notice the oft ignored—the smallest flower along the path—the fragrance of the desert sage. How can injury be such a GIFT?
And the one who just had a meltdown, so far away, and I want to hop a plane but I won’t?
Be still my soul . . .
Pray . . .
And do the next right thing.
This is my daily workout routine—pray and do the next right thing.
Realize, oh my soul, that God is in control. Not you. You do what you know to do, what God calls you to do, and lay your burden down—the burden Jesus says is HIS, not yours. And this I will do . . . here in the desert . . . as I keep searching for, and discovering, endless reasons to praise my Savior God . . . and rest . . . in Him.