Have you been to a desert? We have family in Tucson, so I am familiar with the desert in that area. Let me share my observations about this desert. First of all, you must know that my favorite color is green; grass green, apple green, spruce tree green, olive green, leaf green. And, depending on the time of year, there is not much green going on in that desert! I look at the desert and see brown everywhere. And there is nothing wrong with brown; we love and need you, color brown! It’s just that the brown of the desert can suck the life right out of me. It can feel so dry and unforgiving that it makes me want to reach for a large bottle of moisturizer and slather it all over the whole prickly landscape.
But I have also seen this same desert in bloom and it is a sight to behold! Acres of magnificent colors spring forth from this dryness and the sights and smells take your breath away. Springtime in the desert is a real treat for the senses. Beautiful new life springs forth from a landscape that had seemed so lifeless.
Jesus went out into the desert for forty days. And so, as his follower, I join him. I love putting myself right along side the stories in the bible, imagining that I am right there in the action. So, naturally, I begin to fret about survival and what we will eat. What about water, and how will we even carry it there since the YETI water bottle has not yet been invented? Where will we sleep and how will we keep warm at night? So many concerns have I about this trip out into the desert and how to get it right that I forget who I am traveling with, the One who created the desert, both the green and the brown, the blooming and the dying.
I am reminded this Lenten season to trust the Creator of the desert, to trust where he will lead me and how he will supply my needs, and to trust the desert itself, whether it is blooming with color or brown and dry. Both are beautifully necessary and have a redeeming purpose.
This year, let’s travel these 40 days into the desert not only for but with Jesus, using this time to experience everything along the way that he and the desert have to offer!