Wilderness and Home


What is it like to live feeling separated from God?

A powerful image is that of being in exile, wandering alone in the wilderness of one’s own existence. A dry life without a place to belong. No solid place to stand. No landmarks or pathways to guide us as the sand shifts moment by moment. This is an experience of isolation and abandonment.

We are always searching for home. We know that we are meant to be welcomed into the presence of the Beloved.

We are not meant to be lost in the wilderness.

A significant promise of God is to provide a way home out of the wilderness.

A voice is crying out:
“Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!
Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God! (Isaiah 40:3 CEB)

A parallel thread in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures is that the wilderness is a place where the Divine Presence actually finds us. The time wandering in a wilderness assists the process of stripping away all the lesser parts of life and being more open to be filled with more Essence.

I remember a time not that long ago when I was dry and weary. I had the yearning for finding God. I wanted to be a faithful leader of my community of faith, but all I felt was swamp and desert: wet and dry wilderness. I knew the emptiness of a spirit outcast.

In that thirsty place, I was wandering through a bookstore and saw a book by Julia Cameron entitled Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance. It almost jumped off of the shelves at me. It is a book of encouragement to frustrated writers, but it spoke to my deep thirst.

In that moment I realized we are not meant to be thirsty!

Our bodies are made for water. Without water we are dead. That is why there are so many ways for us to find the life-giving substance.

Instant Human: Just add water.

This is true even in our spiritual and emotional life. The Divine One does not desire us to stay thirsty.

One human encounter that Jesus had revolved around water and the gift of living water.

Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.” (John 4:10 CEB)

This living water promises the living presence of the Spirit of Life. A presence that is real even in the deepest desert.

There is no such thing as a God-forsaken place.

That realization opened up the sluice gates for me. Since God doesn’t want me to be thirsty and since the Divine Presence is always there, then the living water is already there.

Knowing that the intention of the Beloved was to fill my hunger and thirst freed me from my frustration and the swamp of depression. The healing took on new life.

Healing is still happening because the false message that I have no home in Love still catches my heart and swallows my energy. Then I remember that God’s truth is different:

We are meant to be at Home in the Beloved.

As I remember that and act in hope I discover that even the hunger and thirst can be part of God’s great healing design that wants to bring out the Essence of God. The sustainer of the universe is there to sustain me as well.

The idea that I was supposed to be empty, thirsty, or hungry was only the illusion. An illusion that only served to support an imitation life.

When I freely surrender to love and faith, I am renewed by the effervescence of Life.

Your Turn:

Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, but he also says that they will be filled.

Where do you find yourself hungering for God’s loving presence? How can you act on the faith that you are already in that Presence?

How do you find yourself trying to fill an emotional and spiritual thirst with the pleasures that last only a moment and never satisfy? What illusions fuel your wandering aimlessly through life?

What happens when you stop the struggle and affirm that God doesn’t want you thirsty and hungry? What sources of life-giving presence are revealed as you wait with faith?

You are already home. How can we help you believe that?

David

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