For the past month I really have not been writing much. I’ve been busy doing some things around the house. Some minor repairs and getting the yard back in shape. While I do these tasks around the house it allows me to really do some thinking. So I started focusing on and thinking about the Christian walk. Specifically MY Christian walk. I’ve been trying to evaluate my route of recent years. Why has my odyssey gone this way or that way? Why have I struggled at different times and why have other days been easy and inspired? It’s clear that my walk with God has not been a progressively growing and problem free life. I don’t think anyone has that kind of walk with God.
Let me see if I can describe the Christian walk from my own experiences. For me, as I walk with God, it seems that my walk looks more like a long walk through the desert with an occasional stop at an oasis for refreshment and rest.
An oasis is a strange place. In the middle of miles of sand, suddenly and for no reason, water, trees and life appear. It’s at this oasis of life where a weary traveler can get spiritual rest, get spiritual water and gain new strength.
It is my experience that my walk with God can best be described this way…
There are many dry days as I continue to walk with God.
All the way in my journey, I know God is with me and caring for me, but days of joy, inspiration and great victory are rare. Then, suddenly and for no reason, I come to a spiritual oasis. It’s wonderful! Refreshment, rest, water and revival of spirit. If I can, I linger at the oasis for a while…it’s such a great place, but as my life moves on, I know that at some point I must continue my odyssey and so I head back into the desert to my walk with God.
The oasis is great. It’s needed. I would get discouraged and might give up if it weren’t for the occasional oasis, but life with God has to be a life of dependence. It must be a life in which I look to God and trust Him. I won’t find that relationship at the oasis. I have to go out into the desert to discover that kind of relationship with Him.
It’s the dry days when I learn to trust God the most. It’s the days in the desert when I look to him to help me and give me what I need for that day. It’s the dry days in the desert when I grow in my faith the most!
Some pray for an eternal oasis. They never want to leave the cool springs, the wonderful shade, the fig trees, and the comfort of the oasis. Many find this oasis at their church. Never wanting to venture too far from safe confines of their Sunday morning worship service. While I too find comfort in my time at church, I have found that only lasts so long. True ministry and true value of your walk with Christ in found in your journey in the real world. In your community, at the gym, at the store as you shop or at your place of work. In those dry places of your daily life you find true growth and a deeper understanding of your relationship and walk with God. It is there where ministry and your Christian walk is most important. Not just on Sunday morning because if you only focus on the oasis of the church for your spiritual growth you will never learn to depend on God.
So, off to the desert we are led. Led by God to meet with Him there. Dry days when we will find our richest walk with God.
As I’ve tried to think through my own walk with God I think this describes my odyssey so far. It’s not glorious. It’s not always full of great testimonies to share. It’s often dry and difficult, but it’s my time in the desert where I find an intimacy with God I can never find at the oasis.
To me…this is what I would call the normal Christian life. At least it is the Christian life I have experienced for the past twenty years or so. I think it’s the real life of every Christian. Many linger long at the oasis not wanting to leave the comfort there, but some find a hunger for God more powerful than the comfort of the oasis and so they head off into the desert. It’s there we find an intimacy and relationship with God that will never be found at the oasis. It’s this strange contrast between oasis and desert that describe the walk of the Christian.
It is not glorious and it certainly is not easy.
There are days when the best we can say is, with God’s help, we got through that day.
In the end, between rests at the spiritual oasis and walking with God through the desert we grow in faith. It is in this journey that I come so accustomed to that I see my walk will never be one that spends much time in the oasis. Most of my journey has been and will continue to be one that sojourns the desert learning to depend upon God, seeking to grow in His grace and try to be used of Him as He would see fit.
Lace up your shoes believer’s… today looks dry with no oasis in site. It’s going to be a good day.