All of my life was a desert, a wasteland of broken promises, unfulfilled dreams, and unhealed hurts. It was completely devoid of life. Nothing grew. Nothing flourished because nothing grows in a sandy desert.
As far as the eye could see it was just mounds and mounds of hot, blister-the-bottoms-of-your-feet-hot-sand. No water. No shade. A wasteland.
Even after Jesus came in, it was a desert. I hid there in the wasteland-devoid of life, absent from grace. Sure that God did not and could not see me, convinced He would not and did not want to see me hiding there-afraid and alone.
But He filled my heart with Him. He drew me out by grace. He spoke His truth at the bush.
I’d known about God for a long time, I was intrigued by Him but I did not know Him. Even after coming to the cross for forgiveness and life, I did not know Him. I knew of Him and I could easily parrot what everyone else said about Him, but I did not know Him for myself. He was, to me, a stranger. A very nice stranger, but a stranger all the same.
I hid my face-afraid to look at God. Because mirrored there I was sure I would see my own evilness, His hatred and disappointment, condemnation.
Sometimes even today I want to hide my face from Him. I want to run so far so fast in 5 years time I’ll still be running from Him. But His life. His grace draws my face upward to look at Him and there is no condemnation.
There is no condemnation there to be seen at all. There is no disappointed frown, at times there is a look or word of correction, but I’m learning I don’t have to fear those. I don’t have to be afraid of those looks because they are love-driven and work to drive me deeper into relationship with Him, and to cement Him deeper in my heart and pulls me closer to His.
It is in these times of correction, when He points out my sin, that I get to know Him more and better, in a richer, deeper way. A way I’d not known Him before and in a way I’d never get to know Him had He simply left me to my own devices and left sin uncorrected. And unforgiven.
Without His correcting there would be no growth. No oasis in the desert. No shade. No water. No life.
The wasteland is beginning to flourish. Plants are growing, the ground is turning green. Saplings are becoming trees, sheltering trees of comforting shade. There is a wild beauty here now, one I would not have recognized a few decades ago, and never thought possible a few years ago.
This wild beauty speaks of His life. There is a rest where fear reigned. There is grace where anger lived. There is peace-tranquility with God-that says “even here in the hard, ugly wasteland desert, there is beauty and goodness.”
Because there is God.