A Desert Flower
Do you seem to be planted in a desert place?
I have felt that way the last few days. I have been in a dry place...thirsting. Of course the obvious solution would be Christ. But sometimes He isn't that easy to apply...to find...to drink.
I searched my heart and felt convicted of a few things. When it all came down to it...it was my meditations that were under attack. I was full of my thoughts and they roared. I couldn't hear Him. He allowed the dryness to show me what I was missing.
In my searching I came across Psalm 63:1-8 "O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is....Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee...My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips...
I stopped there. Satisfied as with marrow and fatness. I longed to be satisfied. I was the the antithesis of satisfied. I felt anxious...wanting... "With marrow and fatness". I smiled here. I remember as a little girl reading the Palms and Proverbs and being amused with the Bible's allegories of "fat bones" and such. But it made sense to me just now. On my elimination diet I went through a time of having no fats. Did you know that healthy fats give the brain thinking power? They also satisfy hunger. I remember when I first had fat back in my diet. I devoured it! I licked the casserole dish clean. I had never experienced relishing the actual fat...I consumed it and it physically made me feel happy and full and alert and...satisfied. Christ says that our souls can be satisfied as with marrow and fatness.
What kept me from this satisfaction? I knew I needed Him. I knew I longed for Him. What stood in my way from consuming and relishing Him? The problem was I was already full. Full of my things. And they were good things. Innocent things. And yet, it is simply vain words to talk of wanting Him when I deliberately fill myself with distracting (though innocent) thoughts of self.
It caused me to take a hard look at my life. What was it full of? What had He asked me to do? Was I doing it? I realized that in almost every relationship that I have, I was lacking in communication and connection. I didn't have time to hear simple things...to participate in the small worthwhile moments that make up our memories, to invest in people that matter, to be aware of other's needs. Hours passed without me. Weeks flew by. All because somewhere down the road I stopped filling my thoughts with Him and started feasting on my own thoughts. Because He is a just God He knows He can't force-feed His children. Love is a choice.
So I made the simple choice to fill myself with Him. Of course with this choice came some sacrifice of other things. Innocent fun things. Things others can do, but were causing me to be distracted. With this choice comes the small cost of solitude. Choosing Him sometimes includes a loneliness in certain areas. And with my personality, being "left out" is the last thing that I want. But.... I can say with total honesty that it's worth it. He has already stepped in and started working in relationships. He didn't reveal Himself suddenly or dramatically, but simply, quietly...and this morning I realized: I'm satisfied.
"Do you seem to be planted in a desert soil where nothing can grow? Put yourself into the hands of the good Husbandman, and He will at once begin to make that very desert blossom as the rose... (Jer. 17:8)
It is the great prerogative of our divine Husbandman that He is able to turn any soil, whatever it may be like, into the soil of grace the moment we put our growing into His hands. He does not need to transplant us into a different field, but right where we are, with just the circumstances that surround us, He makes His sun to shine and His dew to fall on us, and transforms the very things that were greatest hindrances into the chiefest and most blessed means of our growth." ~ Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, 179