I drank my coffee in silence this morning, wondering if maybe today something would sink into my heart and firmly take root. Opening my Bible, I came across my favorite book...Hosea. Yes, I could get lost in this story. Mostly because many times I feel like it was written about me. Thinking that I might read the entire book again this morning, I only made it to the second chapter, and stopped to mull over these verses.
"But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble
into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
When that day comes," says the Lord,
"you will call me, 'my husband'
instead of 'my master.'"
I saw the word desert and stopped. I know that place, know it well. I have fought anger over it, mourned over being in it, felt peace for knowing it ends, experienced desolation over want of what I thought I needed in it. As I thought for a moment, I remembered this long season of desert. To be honest, it's been a little over two years. I remembered all the times I thought there was no way that I would make it, especially not without the water He gives. No one can make it in the desert without water, nourishment. I kept looking over my memories, thinking I would not find anything. A thought kept running through my mind. "Bottles of water, He gave me bottles of water. That kept me going."
So I looked again, and I saw those moments of blessing, those breaths of oxygen. Hidden as they were, they were always there. He was always there, always giving water, always beside me, sometimes even carrying me. I would cry out, and something would always happen, but in my anger at being in the desert, I couldn't see that it was His grace. Couldn't see His love flowing. But He is so patient, so kind, so gracious. His love is everlasting and faithful.
Deserts will come and go; they'll always be a part of life. Darkness will come and go; it may leave you feeling like you are wounded, devastated, rejected beyond help. But, what I'm learning and relearning is that He is literally there. I don't know how or how to explain it. But, somewhere, somehow in the middle of every single thing that happens, He is the only thing that keeps any of us breathing.
So if you are in that darkness, that desert, or coming out or going into one...it won't always feel like Jesus is there. Reading this, you may fight anger or some other such emotion. Go ahead. I know what that's like. Just don't give up or into lies. I did. It's hard to fight out of those lies. The truth is that God is still sovereign even in the middle of the unknowns, the battles, the deserts and darknesses, the pains. He is still sovereign. Write it on your arm with a Sharpie if you have to.
God is still sovereign.