“There are many marks of a desert season.
I want to draw your attention to three characteristics: loneliness, longing, and lament.”
I’m currently walking through a Bible Study and today’s session just hit me square in the heart. Thole study is based off of Psalm 107 and today I started out reading through the whole section and I saw a beautiful theme. People were hurting, hungry, lost, fearful, etc and they cried out to the Lord and He delivered them. I’m making it sound a lot more simple than it’s listed. Sometimes they were facing hardship from their own choices and other times it was a way to sharpen them and weed out the sin and struggle to where God was their hope and joy and comfort – yet God always came through.
Desert periods were the topic for todays study and we walked through what does it look like to be in a spiritual desert, what are the marks that we can identify with; and y’all my heart was beating so wildly.
It was like finally I was able to take a deep breath and exhale.
I’ve been saying for the longest time to some of my close friends how I feel like I’ve been walking in a spiritual desert for YEARS, years. I can’t put my finger on the why, the how, or the reason, but it’s like I’m choking on dust, getting a few drops of water to quench the thirst, and then still left thirsty. I struggle with the head knowledge and even with the heart knowledge from knowing Jesus for so long – but getting them to connect, OOPHF, it’s like ramming two bricks together. One of my recent conversations with a friend in regards to that head knowledge made me feel so good just finally verbalizing those thoughts. We chatted about how going to school for Biblical Studies leaves you with A LOT of knowledge. After 4 years of theology, hermeneutics, round table discussions, in-depth books of the Bible studies, etc I’m full of a lot of knowledge and conviction on how to Study God’s Word. I put myself on this standard that If I’m not studying/worshiping/praying like XYZ then I’m not really caring. When the truth is, that’s straight legalism and not a true heart of worship.
The author gives a story as an example from the movie “Three Amigos” when people are longing in the desert and I really want to share that story as well as her question and my thoughts with you today so if you feel like reading on, please do!
“A scene in the movie “Three Amigos aptly depicts the longing in the desert. Lucky, Ned, and Dusty wilt under the head of the blazing sun. The barren landscape drops behind them as they stop to quench their thirst. The camera pans to Lucky first. He lifts his canteen high above his eager mouth, but only two splashes of water barely wet is tongue. Ned tries next. He isn’t as fortunate as Lucky. Something pours from his canteen’s spout, but all Ned gets is a mouthful of sand. Last, it’s Dusty’s turn. Surely his experience will match his amigos’. He longingly raises his canteen and, to the bewilderment of his buddies, water gushes forth. Dusty drinks to his heart’s content, gargles and swishes the excess, and drops the canteen to the ground. The remnant soaks into the cracked earth. Once Dusty feels Lucky’s and Ned’s incredulous stares, he generally offers, “Lip Balm?”
Q – Have you felt like you’re the only Lucky or Ned in a world full of Dustys?
Can I get an AMEN.
I sat there and found myself filled with SO MANY thoughts that I finished my study, grabbed my laptop and started typing this out (which is probably why it sounds like a stream of consciousness). We live in a society where social media is king. We check in where we’re going, post pictures of our fun times, love photos of other people posting their best looking lives, and at the end of the day we often find ourselves feeling less than or that we are lacking. Our fitness routine isn’t as good as that persons, we don’t get to go on as many vacations as them, our relationships don’t look as fun/strong/happy as theirs do, our children don’t behave so well, our job doesn’t give us those kinds of perks, etc etc etc. I actually just wrote a post on how comparison SUCKS and how we often twist ourselves up into this ball that is just ridiculous.
I’m guilty of this myself.
I post a lot of pretty curated images that took me time and effort onto my pages. It’s part of my business to produce quality content which includes pretty pictures and capturing words and I go through my social media and sprinkle it with “the best” picture from that content. I’m often curious of the opinion people have of me based off of my social media presence. Do they think I live a fun and exciting and adventurous life? Yes, I do, but that’s about like 10% of the time. The other 90% is dealing with building a strong marriage to a military spouse who is gone all the time, living across the country from my support system, moving all the time when I have an adventurous spirit but a settled heart, drama from navy wife life that rivals high school days, and A LOT of alone time. That’s just the tip of the ice burg around here y’all.
I scroll through my instagram feed and see all of these amazing women.
Women who look like Dusty from the story. Women who have it together, who are healthy and fit, who have stunning houses that look so organized, who talk about Jesus as their best friend and pour out just this on-fire spirit that I covet. AND YES I COVET IT, which is totally a sin. Yet when I stop and clear out the cobwebs I remind myself of something: They struggle too.
No one is perfect on this earth.
We all have pain, sorrow, sin struggles, anger, sadness, loneliness, etc. It isn’t always rainbows and unicorns and sunshine, even if that’s what instagram is showing. So maybe this is my way of pulling the curtains back to show you the mess of my heart so that you know you are NOT alone in your struggle either.
Transparency is key.
Authenticity is key.
Even if sometimes it’s paired with pretty pictures. 🙂