Monday, March 21, 2011

Bubbling Springs

A few days ago, on our return from an out-of-town trip, we covered many miles of rough terrain. Thousands of clear-cut acres, coarse with the stubble of ragged pine stumps, rubbed my visual sensibilities raw. It was wearying. I wanted to be sitting back home at my desk with a view of my grass green, peach tree blooming, goldfinch cruising back yard. But the desolate landscape just kept rolling.

Yesterday, the gospel reading was from the fourth chapter of Matthew, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”

In the barren wilderness, after weeks of fasting, Jesus faced the enemy of our souls. Surely, as fully God and fully human, Jesus must have wanted to be somewhere else. Somewhere like the glorious realm of heaven from which he’d come. But with us in mind, he persevered through the desert and temptation, even unto the cross.

I’m so thankful.

When I face my own spiritual wildernesses, I remember Jesus, and what he did for the whole world. What he did for me.

On our recent journey, after miles of bleak sameness, a splash of green caught my eye. I craned my neck to see where the land sloped to a little stream. Several giddy ducks swam among lily pads in a tiny oasis as an egret stood sentinel nearby. I held them all in my line of vision until they passed out of sight.

In a passage called “The Joy of the Redeemed” in my Bible, the prophet Isaiah talks of “…streams in the desert…” and “…the thirsty ground bubbling springs…” When I read these words and others in chapter thirty-five of Isaiah, they lift me from only looking at the seemingly dismal landscape around me to anticipating what God will do.

And what God will do if we are patient for it, is give us those spiritual “bubbling springs” in any desert in which we find ourselves. From those waters, we draw life and spiritual strength to persevere.

Join me in swimming among the lily pads.


pvmanns said...

Thanks, Beverly. We need those refreshing waters. I am reminded to look up and drink.

Beverly Varnado said...

Patricia, I'm right beside you. Blessings, Bev

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