Baking under the hot sun, a weary traveler drags himself across the wide, long, massive expanse of dry wasteland. Rubbing his eyes to make sure, he spots what appears to be a sparkling pool of water just ahead. Stirring up every ounce of strength, the man runs to his puddle of relief and rescue. When he arrives, he throws himself into the puddle and quickly realizes he has been mistaken. His mind has played a trick on him. With his mouth full of dry, hot sand, the man has two choices to make, he can lay down and die or he can pick his self up, dig the sand out of his mouth, and drag himself forward believing that he will make it out alive.
Have you ever watched a scenario like this play out on the movie screen? Better yet, have you ever felt like the man in the above scenario? I am sure many of you are like me and can answer, “Yes,” to both questions. Our wastelands can come in many different forms. Maybe your wasteland is a large, expanse of travel through an addiction. Or, maybe your wasteland is a large, expanse of travel through a tragic event. Or, maybe your wasteland is a large, expanse of travel through the process of recovery from a sickness, a loss, or a re-start after a destructive storm. Whatever your “wasteland” may be disguised as, it exists and it is big and the journey is long and hard. And along the way, we may see a mirage in the wasteland.
I am well aware that this blog may only make sense to me. And, I am fine with that, so here goes.
You see, I think the mirage in the wasteland is similar to our Faith in this journey through life. When we watch the above scenario play out on a movie screen, we think the man is having a hallucination. Quite the contrary though. A mirage is real, they are actually natural occurring optical illusions. Scientifically, they are created when light is refracted through air at different temperatures. We all see them often in the heat of the summer when driving down the black asphalt road. Although our mind leads us to believe that it is a pool of water, it doesn’t cancel out the reality that we are actually seeing a mirage.
I consider myself to be a person of Faith. I have great faith in my Heavenly Father and His promises. Nevertheless, there are still times when my faith is attacked. There are times when I feel like I am throwing myself into a puddle of water, only to realize that my mouth is full of sand. So, should I just sit down in the desert and bake? Or, do I allow the mirage to propel me forward, understanding that the timing for my “pool of water” isn’t quite ready yet?
On Thursday, I read Psalm 27 and verse 13 states, “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” I have thought about this verse for the 3rd day now. Hence, the writing of this blog. You see, Faith is a friend. It keeps us from giving up under the burden, the despair, and the drought of our wasteland. It keeps us hoping and praying and waiting and believing in the One who is greater than ourselves and our wasteland. Matthew Henry writes, Those that walk by faith in the goodness of God shall in due time walk in the sight of that goodness.” At first, Faith is my eyes. It is what I see and at times I only see it, but I can’t touch it. I am merely walking in the “Faith” of the goodness, but not yet the goodness. But, I know it is there. If I don’t give up, if I don’t quit, if I don’t lose heart, if I walk by faith in the goodness of God in due time I WILL WALK IN THE SIGHT OF THAT GOODNESS.
My 27 Thanks:
1. The book of Psalm is rich with promises from The Lord.
2. Psalm 23: the goodness and unfailing Love of The Lord Pursues me all the days of my life.
3. God pursues me.
4. I will see the goodness of The Lord.
5. Peaceful and quiet mornings are a great time for reflection and thought.
6. Judah woke up and wanted me to hold him for a while.
7. He will always be my baby boy.
8. My in-laws let us borrow their brand new truck to pick up furniture.
9. We finally decided on a piece of furniture for our living room.
10. I ran into Angela Cheatham Young at the furniture store. We shared a great conversation.
11. She has such a sweet smile and a sweet heart. She was one of the first smiling faces I met at OSU Chi Alpha.
12. Gary, Judah, and I had lunch at Pei Wei. We all 3 love that place.
13. We enjoyed a spontaneous surprise lunch with our pastors, Ted and Tami. They happen to like Pei Wei too.
14. It is really nice to enjoy conversation outside the work environment.
15. They got to see Zach for a little bit yesterday. I am so glad they enjoyed a nice visit and got to meet some of Zach’s friends.
16. Women’s ministry craft fair is ready to go. They have worked so hard.
17. Judah and I did math problems during the drive to Norman.
18. My mom and I love talking about alternative health.
19. My back muscles have been super sore. Gary gave me a shoulder massage.
20. Judah got a haircut. He sat so still for the lady.
21. We had dinner with Sweetens. The food was awesome. Jennifer is a wonderful host. She pulled out the fine China for us. I felt special.
22. Gary and Kelley have similar hobbies. They enjoyed an evening of talking about coins, guitars, and other manly things.
23. Judah and I had great conversation with Jenn and Chandler and Sam.
24. We enjoyed an evening sitting by a real fire. I love the cozy, comfortable feeling from a fire.
25. I forgot to get pull-ups for Judah. Thankfully, Crest is open 24 hrs.
26. Oklahoma sunsets are beautiful.
27. Today is my grandma’s birthday. She is a special lady who always makes you feel very special and loved.