“Deserts are not places where God deserts you but a place deserted of noise so you can hear a word from God. Every wilderness holds God’s tenderness and the driest of deserts can be the holy of holies. . . . Deserts are trust greenhouses. The desert that seems in the way . . . it’s making a way to lean on the Way Himself. Always.”- Ann Voskamp
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”- Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)
Ann Voskamp concludes Chapter 9 of WayMaker as she describes deserts as places of dependence on God. Not places to fear. Hence, the WayMaker leads His own people into deserts to whet our appetite for more of God alone.
In addition, Ann observes, perhaps your wilderness is not out of the way. Instead, that desert makes the way – to hear God more clearly. If you still yourself and attentively listen to the ways God works, moves, and woos.
Also, Ann exhorts, don’t view deserts as places of despair. Rather, see deserts as places of divine dialogue. Places where God woos with a whispered word. Therefore, Ann encourages:
“God is not way off, that you have to scream for His attention. He is right here between heartbeat and next breath, sitting already with your most sacred thoughts, choosing to yada-know you.”
When the tabernacle stood at Shiloh, the children of Israel offered two types of sacrifices:
- the olah sacrifice – completely consumed in a flame before God
- the helamim sacrifice – a peace sacrifice, almost like communion between the person and God
In conclusion, Ann notes, the Hebrew word for sacrifice, korban, means ‘to come near, an approach, moving closer.’ Thus, sacrifice isn’t losing something. Rather, it’s moving closer to Someone. As a result, through sacrifice you detach from one thing – to attach to another thing.
Today’s question: What deserts functioned as trust greenhouses for you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Learning to live with waves”