Streams In The Desert

We all walk through seasons of dry times where we travel a dusty and weary land. We traipse across the barren landscape, parched and in need of some refreshing. We carry backpacks full of worry, disappointment, to-do lists, or weariness while searching for relief.

That is where I’ve resided the past year. Overworked, exhausted, apathetic, and overwhelmed. I’ve felt like I was dragging my body across the hot, desert sand just trying to make it to the other side. During this desolation, I was reminded of the truth that it’s the time spent in the desert that draws us to the feet of the Savior. In our desperation is when we reach out the most for guidance and rescue because we realize we can’t make it on our own. 

I’m sure there have been times where dust rested on your sandals. Or do you currently find yourself parched or scorched? God promises us the desert will not last, and we can find bits of oasis amid the sand. Isaiah 43:19 declares that we can expect streams in our desert. There can be intense rainstorms in the desert that provide temporary channels of flowing water. Jesus is the Living Water. We only need to look up and focus on him for us to receive nourishment during our dark days. You might just want to lie in the sand and give up as the sun scorches your motivation, but it’s a decision to keep moving. It might be dragging your body forward like I did or fighting to take one small step after another.

We must trust that he always provides a trail to follow out of the desolate landscape. He guides us like Hansel and Gretel leaving breadcrumbs to find their way home. The promise in Isaiah continues, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Oh, how we all wish sometimes for a new thing. This verse declares that change is coming. God is at work in our circumstances as we cling to him and his word. He is dropping breadcrumb after breadcrumb as we seek his guidance for a road map out of this season. He offers our weary souls a drink if we only reach out to take the cup he offers.

One of my favorite experiences growing up in Colorado was stopping at a stream in the mountains after hiking or jeeping when we were hot and thirsty. Sometimes the trickling water would appear out of nowhere. Mom would hand us the little metal collapsible cups she always carried for capturing a drink.  We’d dip them into the rippling brook and sip the clear, refreshing water. It was like a drop of heaven.

Just like my family had to venture through rugged terrain to locate the refreshment, so do we have to keep pushing, not focus on our desert surroundings, and seek the Living Water in our parched state. When we exit into the lush, green valleys we will be stronger, wiser, and closer to our Savior. 

Shelley Pulliam

About Shelley Pulliam

Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale.