Written by Tom Neyhart-
We are continuing on from the last post Desert Part 1 where we discussed how God uses the desert we go through in life to shape and mold. There is a passage from Isaiah 32 that has new meaning since my Israel trip in 2016. If we stop and look around at the people we know in our church, and in our community, we will see so many who are in deserts of their own. As followers of Christ, we are put in a unique situation.
Isaiah 32:1-2 reads:
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
and princes will rule in justice.
2 Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Jesus being the only King who actually reigns in complete righteousness, then we as heirs of God and disciples of Jesus would be the princes (and princesses) who rule in justice. I don’t think this is justice as we would understand it in the court system. The words of verse two suggest what it looks like to rule in justice. We are to be like a hiding place, a place of refuge, a refreshing stream and the comfort of the shade. Never is this made clearer than when you are in the heat, rocks, and sand of a literal desert.
As followers of Jesus, are we these things to those who are in the desert?
We can walk along side of those who are struggling, those who are in deserts for what ever reason. We can be comfort, peace, love, we can be the shade of a great rock or the stream of water, and we are definitely in a weary land right now.
This doesn’t mean we try to rescue people from their desert, or bail them out of their circumstances… this is important… they still need to go through it to be shaped and molded. We all do and it is usually no fun. But, how much better is it to have someone there to lift you up, to encourage, to show empathy, to show love, to walk beside you. That is what I feel this passage calls us to.
This is one of my favorite photos from my trip taken at Ein Gedi after a long hot day in the desert. This oasis pops up out of now where and is a refreshing relief in the Judean Wilderness. It is a reminder that I can be an Ein Gedi to others, or I can let them suffer through their own desert alone.
Who can you be an oasis for? As you encounter people today, tomorrow, this week, ask God to reveal those in your path that you can uplift and encourage. Ask God to be an oasis to someone.