Each of us will face seasons in the desert—times of intense hardship and sorrow. You may be in such a place in your life right now. My friend is navigating the harsh landscape of loneliness and confusion after her husband of twenty-four years left her. Another friend received a diagnosis of cancer and is wading through the unknown, fearful quagmire of operations, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Know that no matter where you find yourself today, God has promised never to forsake us. However, grief and pain may well blind us to God’s presence. The psalmist shows us how to cling to God in the desert, employing three practices:
First, in verse 1, the psalmist reflects on his personal relationship with God and his deep need of the Lord. If you find yourself in a barren place right now, remind yourself that you are God’s son or daughter. If earthly parents care for and protect their children, how much more will God care for and protect you?
Second, in verses 3-5, the psalmist praises God. Praise is a powerful spiritual force. William Thrasher* says, “Satan so hates the genuine praise of Christ that his fiery darts of discouragement are not effective against us when we respond in praise.” Offer praise in the desert today, no matter how dry and cracked your voice, and you may well sense a cool, soothing breeze blowing through your heart.
Finally, in verses 2 and 6, the psalmist meditates on God. When our path becomes uncertain, it helps to look back and recall how faithfully God has journeyed with us in the past.
So today, begin meditating on your Father. Cling to God and know that wilderness seasons do not last forever.
Lord, open my eyes to see and trust you in the desert seasons of my life. Amen.
Whitney Simpson offers a wide-open doorway into embodied practice and awakens us to the long-held wisdom of our tradition that our bodies are sacred places where God meets us and dwells. Fully Human, Fully Divine is a true Christmas gift!”
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