Did you hear this little spelling trick as a kid?
How can you remember the different spellings of dessert (a wonderful tasty treat at the end of a meal) and desert (a dry, parched land)? In dessert, there are 2 “s” letters in the middle, and everyone always wants more dessert!
That sums up my life pretty well.
Dessert. I’ll always take more dessert! Chocolate? I’m your girl. Share a piece of pie? I’m there.
Desert. Traveling through a dry, sandy land with little water? Not so much.
When You Travel Through the Desert
Lately, I’ve been traveling through a desert of life. Slowly, I seem to be coming to the other side now. Thank you, God, for your kindness in caring for me through this journey.
I’m weary, and my attitude has been lousy.
How about you? Have you traveled through a desert of life? Did your problems seem to go on, with no oasis of resolution in sight?
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, you can read the story of God’s people the Israelites, who had been on a journey through the desert for 40 years, as they traveled toward the land God has promised to them.
Now, the end was in sight.
We read in Deuteronomy 8:2-3,7,8-10:
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord…For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills.. a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing…And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
Moses, who had led God’s people through this desert time, reminded them of God’s promises.
4 Lessons You’ve Already Learned from the Desert Seasons of Your Life
In the middle of your desert seasons, the temptation comes to raise your fist at God and cry out, “Why?” and “How much longer?” I’ve done some of both.
Yet you become wiser and stronger when you journey through a desert season. The person who goes into the desert is not the same person who leave it.
Here are lessons you’ve already learned, as you’ve trusted God to guide you through the desert, from these tough times:
- You are humbled before God. If there’s one thing a desert season will do, it’s bring you to your knees. This is not a bad thing. At some point in every desert season, a turning point comes when you realize you don’t have what it takes. That’s when you humble yourself and trust that God will redeem this part of your life.
- You realize more lessons are to be learned. For years, I was in a desert season when it came to my weight and eating. (You might be in that place right now. I know it stinks, but there are lessons to be learned here.) When I was 100 lbs overweight, I used to pray and beg God to please just let me get to my goal weight, and I would do whatever I had to do to maintain it. The truth is, I would not have lasted a day at that weight! When you learn the lessons of the desert time, you become prepared for what lies ahead.
- You learn to live on the manna of God’s word. God’s people, the Israelites, lived on manna (bread from heaven) while they traveled in the desert. My beautiful friend, if you have been through the clutches of an addiction, a laziness, or a difficult situation of any type, you know the only thing that will get you out is the truth of God’s Word. This goes beyond a once a day peruse through. This is reading it over and over and allowing it to soak into your soul. If you haven’t experienced this truth yet, allow me to share what worked for me in my desert season. I went through a time during my weight loss journey where I became overwhelmed spiritually. One afternoon I ended up literally on my knees in my living room crying out to God for relief and help. In the weeks that followed, I wrote Bible verses on 3×5 cards and carried those cards with me everywhere I went. I carried them in my purse and in my car. Those became my lifeline. I might not always feel those promises of God are true, but I choose to believe them. (Click here for a downloadable 7 day Bible study.)
- You trust that satisfaction will come. God has a good land waiting up ahead for you. When I was binge eating on a regular basis, no matter how much I ate, I was never really satisfied. God brought me healing, and now I find satisfaction. In the midst of our tough family circumstances now, I trust that God will bring deliverance in His way and His timing.
No matter the challenges of a difficult desert season, God has molded you from the experienced. Savor the lessons He taught you during this tough yet important season.
Have you gone through a difficult season in your life? What lessons did you learn?