A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.”- Isaiah 40:3-4
Approximately 10 days before recording “Desert Song”, singer Jill McCloghry (Hillsong) gave birth to her first little boy, Max. Max was born prematurely, 23 weeks and 5 days into Jill’s pregnancy. Although Max lived only one day, Jill trusted that her unchanging God was in control and bigger than anything she was facing. Jill didn’t feel God’s presence- her cut was so deep and fresh. Yet she needed to sing, to do what God had called her to do. By choosing to worship God all the time, even when she didn’t feel like it, she glorified God in the midst of tragedy.
In our weakness, trial and pain following our ministry downsizing or job loss, seeming unconquerable mountain summits ominously loom on the horizon, obstructing our paths and sense of God’s presence. Triumph, or resolution of our situation,, is still on its way. When our wound is fresh and the hurt is so deep, overwhelming circumstances impede our ability to believe and put into practice St. Paul’s exhortation that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).” We may even defiantly scoff at this truth.
God loves to provide! To not trust in His provision only serves to perpetuate our situation. Even when we choose not to acknowledge God’s faithfulness, He remains present and available. Jesus’ presence is vital as we journey toward healing and ministry revitalization. Our circumstances don’t change what God has called us to do and to be. As for Jill, on the night “Desert Song” was recorded, she felt God’s presence again as she worshipped Him through song.