A barren place
God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. (Psalm 63:1)
Why do we find ourselves in the desert places anyway? If you are like me, you chose to live in one! If we wanted to wax a little philosophical this morning, we could all say we get ourselves into some pretty 'dry and barren' places at times? Those dry and barren places are likely a result of our choices - yup - I've gone meddling again. Here's the thing I want us to consider today - do we get hungry and thirsty when we are in a place of ample nourishment and quenching? Not likely! We get the hungriest when there is no food in sight, and the thirstiest when our demand for fluids is not met with an equal provision of the refreshing stuff. It is in the dry and weary deserts where we find we have a need or two that honestly cannot be met any other way than by God's provision.
When we are in the lush valleys, green meadows, and high mountain tops of life experiences, do we think much about how hungry or thirsty we are? Not really. Why? We are too busy enjoying ourselves to notice our hunger or thirst. How many can honestly say they enjoy the dry and barren places as much as they do the more lush ones? If you are a desert rat like me, you find enjoyment combing the dry desert floor, but trust me when I say this - looking out over the rim of the forests up north is pretty breath-taking and a refreshing time. We need both, but I think the places that help us grow more are those that aren't always that 'lush'. The barrenness drives us to find provision - to seek it like our lives depend upon it - because they actually do!
Barrenness is not always the absence of life - it could be the absence of life as we want to see it. Now I have really gone meddling, haven't I? If my mother were still on this earth, you could ask her if a barren womb meant an absence of life. She'd tell you absolutely not - because God brought three kiddos into her life at a time when we needed her the most. Were we born from her barren womb? No, but that 'barrenness' drove her to us. There was no absence of life - there was life as God intended it for her (and for us). God isn't always going to give us the mountaintop experiences in life because he knows we need to sense a little barrenness from time to time in order to cause us to look outside of our circumstances. The hunger and thirst created when this happens actually helps us fall deeper in love with him and so much more appreciative of his tremendous grace in our lives. Just sayin!