The Desert

Trying to discern your calling can seem like an impossible task. People around you can confirm or deny what you are thinking and feeling but it is very rare that you get to clearly hear that still small voice amidst the maelstrom of everyday life

The 3rd century Desert Fathers withdrew into the Scetis desert of Egypt to try a find a place in which they believed that would hear God’s Voice. They were often pursued by people seeking advice and pearls of wisdom and so had to withdraw deeper and deeper into the wilderness to find the solitude they sought. Likewise, the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, retreated to the desert only to discover God’s will for him:

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper – 1 Kings 19:12

So sometimes you may have to take yourself to a metaphorical desert to discover the same

God hears you when you whisper

God hears you when you whisper

The Desert

Why go out into the desert?
What do you seek?
What will you find?

I go into the desert,
Bareheaded – an empty husk,
Naked of all reason;
A woman of hard baked clay,
Brittle of substance,
Rough to touch.

Yet there is a longing
To be moulded afresh.
To feel the potter’s hands
Creating a vessel
Both useful and precious.

Why then come to the desert?
There is surely nothing here
But bleached bones
And endless horizons
Of shifting time.

But here, just as in the Garden,
Is the Lord’s creation.
Under my feet
Individual multicoloured specks,
Each particle of sand moves as one
The source of strength
In Man’s created structures.

Shimmering illusions
Of far away things.
Unsatisfactory desires
Cleansed by wavering heat
To sear the flesh.
Refining fire to burn away
And reveal true worth.

Rocky ground of stumbling blocks.
Casting long shadows
My shelter from the storm and
Scorching sun – a protective shield.
The wings of the wind
Creating smooth surfaces

Heat of the sun –
Its blinding light gives way
To the cool of evening.
Night frosts bring drops
Of morning dew.
One single drop to quench my thirst
To satisfy – yet intensify need.

Approaching the heart of the desert
The Tree of Life –
Putting roots deep into the earth.
Enabling me to draw to the surface
A sparkling fountain of sustenance.

I come to the desert
Because here I will surely
Encounter the Lord.
No burning bush – but
A revelation of His greatness,
His mercy and His grace.

He has prepared my way,
He has tested and humbled me
He has called me.
Let me simply reply
“Here I am.”

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