Exodus 15:22 “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.”
The Sahara Desert is impressive. When our mission work took us to Kenya, we would fly over the Sahara. It was take several hours flying time to cross the massive expanse of the desert. I would stare out of the plane windows at the Sahara below for long periods of time. If you watched long enough, you could see the sand dunes shifting with the winds. Occasionally, I would see a time village among all the emptiness. I would wonder what life must be like in such an isolated spot. Where would you get your groceries, your water, and how would you get around? It was an awesome sight to behold.
The children of Israel wandered through parts of the Sahara Desert during the forty years after they left Egypt Their story is found in Exodus in the Old Testament. It was a very trying time for Moses and all the people and after seeing the Sahara from a plane, I can understand why. After they witness the miracles of the parting of the Red Sea, they wandered for three days without finding any water. Can you imagine walking in the desert for three days without water? We had a layover in Abu Dhabi on one mission trip. As we landed, the pilot informed us it was 120 Degrees outside. The heat was oppressive even though it was a dry heat. Our first purchase was bottled water and during our 20 hour layover, we never went anywhere without a water bottle. God provided for the Israelites in the desert and that is why they survived. Without God’s provisions in the desert, I am sure they would have perished.
We were blessed on another mission trip with a planned three day layover in Cairo, Egypt. It was amazing to see the pyramids and all the history of the area. I loved seeing the Nile River and taking a boat down part of it. What really struck me was the fact that if you went about a mile on either side of the river, you were in the Sahara Desert again. The Pyramids of Giza sit in the desert but just feet away is the city and trees and greenery. It is like someone drew a line to separate the desert from the fertile land. But the desert is always encroaching upon the good land. It is a constant battle to try to drive the desert back from the city.
I see a lot of similarities in our relationship with Christ. Christ is the river of life that feeds our soul. If we wander too far away from that river, we find ourselves in the desert. We find ourselves thirsting after the waters of life. Sometimes, we can wander in the desert for many years before we find our way back to our river of life. Our time in the desert can be very difficult just like it was for the people of Israel. We experience extreme thirst but this thirst is for Christ. We experience hunger but this hunger is for the word of God. We experience isolation but this loneliness is for a restored relationship with Jesus. Some of these trips to the desert come from our own choices as we pick the worldly ways instead of Christ’s way. But sometimes, God will give us a time in the desert for us to reflect and to give us a longing to go deeper in our relationship with Him. If you find yourself in the desert, stop and look to the River of Life. Return to the source and drink deep from His waters that bring everlasting life. Just like Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:13-14 13″Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” If this is a time in the desert for you, I pray that God will show you the way out and restore your soul with His life sustaining water.
May the Lord Bless you and keep.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”