The Song In The Desert
Oftentimes, I want to focus on the fruitfulness, the seasons in which my heart is filled with joy, where God is overflowing my life with abundance. I like to sweep the darker times under the rug, hoping they’ll just disappear while I go about my business.
I can’t keep hiding the fact that some days, it seems like I’ve been hardwired for struggle. That lately, I have been worn and doubtful that God hears my cry, as His voice is awfully quiet compared to the noise of everything swirling around me. That at certain moments, it feels like I’m trekking through the Sahara desert with nothing to sustain me but a quickly emptying canteen.
The other night, I pushed studying for finals aside to attend a worship event with some wonderful ladies from my Delight chapter. It was a spontaneous decision, and I knew my heart needed that time. Yet I stood at this concert with my heart so hardened, wondering how I could literally be in a crowd of thousands of people declaring the glory of God and still feel so alone and so distracted. The few days prior to this event had been filled with the inability of silencing the multitude of voices vying for my attention, and because of this, I couldn’t hear the most important One.
In the midst of all the clamor and chaos and surrounded by the atmosphere of worship, I finally took the time to listen for the most important voice of all. He whispered across my heart, softer than the other voices competing for victory inside my head: “When did you stop believing that I do great things?”
This didn’t make sense to me at first. What did the disorder in my life have to do with God doing great things? Then I realized that despite the inevitability of my circumstances, the key thing I was missing was a basic trust and knowledge that God is still moving. I simply stopped believing that He still fights for His children and started listening to the earthly demands that fought to capture my attention. I had let them win, and I had been leaving Him by the wayside.
Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
I came across these verses in Nehemiah the day after God brought me face-to-face with this disbelief in Him that I kept choosing. This passage reveals God’s faithfulness to His children, the Israelites, even as they wandered through the wilderness. Even when they disobeyed, when their hearts were hardened, and when they didn’t choose God—much like I’ve been doing—He still provided for their day-to-day needs. He opened His arms of love to them. He directed their every step by His Spirit. He worked mightily in their lives, even in this environment of barrenness and despair. They lacked nothing.
God is still singing His song, even when we’re walking through the deserts of life. The key to seeing His faithfulness is by fostering an awareness of the depths of His love for us. I found that God spoke most clearly to my heart when I was in that environment of worship, when I was lifting my voice to Him despite all that was surrounding.
Through the praise of children and infants You have established a stronghold against Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
As we praise, God defends us. As we choose to sing no matter the season, He acts as our refuge. By opening our hearts to Him, we give Him room to work and reveal His faithfulness and ability to do more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Lift your voice. Listen for His love song.
He has not forsaken us.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
-Sydney Hornsby // @sydney_hornsby