I realized some time ago that I needed to get away. The stress of everyday life without a job had begun to take its toll. I started to doubt my God’s ability to provide. I doubted his love for me. I felt forgotten. It even made me feel ugly, unlovely and unwanted. I knew enough to know my faith was weak. I felt empty, dry and parched. I had been in this desert so long. What was God trying to say to me? Am I to learn a lesson or will he work a miracle in my life to bring glory to him? I came to a point when I no longer cared. I just longed and yes even thirsted for a quiet place to rest in Him. Recently I had spent a few days in solitude but it felt like a prison. What I really needed was a retreat….. an oasis in my desert.
God truly worked a miracle in my life.
I arose quite early this morning to flee the familiarity of Phoenix. I drove west to California seeking escape. I was happily driving for hours and watching the changes in the desert scenery. Yes, not all deserts are created equal. Some are filled with a multitude of different kinds of foliage. Others appear to be a barren wasteland good for nothing but growing tumbleweeds.
Inside I felt like the latter. I no longer felt captivating and I no longer felt I was a reflection of my blessed Savior.
Once again I needed an Oasis in this desert of discontent I was living in.
I came closer to my destination. My eyes took in the sight of a large, barren, rock strewn mountain. The sun was bright and the temperature had risen to 115 degrees. I thought to myself, I drove all morning for this? This is my Oasis?
I followed the road around the corner to find the community of Palm Springs nestled up against this ugly, rough, barren mountain and surrounded by what I would call a wasteland. I kept wondering why this community was here and why did anyone live here? I shook my head in disbelief.
One quick glance in the rear view mirror took me by surprise. I saw the glimpse of the woman I had forgotten. A familiar face was staring back. I knew then God was already working his miracle.
I pulled into a parking lot only to see the face of another Oasis. With his vibrant personality and charm I was asked to follow him. This man is an oasis in my desert. My dear friend loves me like Jesus loves me. After we parked our cars we embraced. While standing there I relaxed, I felt I was home, relief passed through me, another miracle. God was loving me through my friend. My friend and I spent four hours of food, laughter and time in prayer and in the word together.
My time with him was like a cold drink of water on a hot summer day. Looking in his eyes and hearing him speak of what God had revealed to him that morning in devotions was once again a reflection of Jesus. Not a mirage but the real thing. Jesus was using this man to minister to my heart and my soul. We laughed about this town in the middle of a barren wasteland. Once again who would live here? I could not help but reflect I had been living in a barren wasteland all these months. We may find ourselves placed there and not by our own free will. No matter how hard we try to leave the desert we can not. The scriptures say “no by might, not by power but by my spirit says the Lord”.
Before I knew it, it was time to go pray and say our good-byes. Tears still flow thinking of this friend who freely loves me like Jesus loves me. I now God brought him to me for such a time as this.
I entered into my hotel room and fell on my bed exhausted from lack of sleep, the long drive and burdens lifted. I fell asleep immediately. Something I have not done for months. I eventually was woken by a phone call and decided to venture out for dinner. On my drive back to the hotel I noticed that in the twilight, shadows had fallen on the barren mountain. Its rough exterior had been softened by the fading light. There was almost a strange and unique beauty about it now. I could not help but realize that Palm Springs had become beautiful to me now. I drove past the gas station where my friend had me fill up my tank. I smiled and realized that would hold special memories to me.
In returning to my room I saw my reflection in the mirror. My hair was all wind blown a bit shiny from the extra moisture in the air. My face was dewy from this rare moisture as well. My light blonde tresses fell upon my shoulders in a bit of a tangled mess. My eyes were a bit moist from the tears of thankfulness about to flow. Even in the messy state I realized I was seeing a reflection of a woman God had revealed to me before. A woman he pursued even at the tender age of four. A woman he found captivating and precious. I was seeing myself through Jesus’ eyes once again. Not the woman who wandered that desert for so long. Instead I was seeing the woman who drank from the well. Jesus had given me an Oasis in my desert.
Read: Isaiah 35