I was reminded during church a few weeks back of how different our lives were a year ago. Mike needed full-time work. We missed being in ministry. We had a baby on the way. Month to month the only thing we knew for certain was that our lives were full of uncertain things. We felt very much like we were alone in the middle of a desert.
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
We had been praying for nearly a year and a half for steady full-time work. We knew all about the tough economic times and how so many people were faring far worse – but that understanding did little to change the desperation in our hearts. We were drained in every way imaginable and knew we were running out of viable options. What we needed was a miracle.
This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
A year ago I remember sitting in our church auditorium singing lyrics like . . . “Blessed be your name, when I’m found in the desert place, when I walk through the wilderness . . . Blessed be your name, on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering . . . Blessed be your name.*” Worship despite the heartache. Worship even though it hurts. Worship when you can’t see an end in sight. Worship. Worship. Worship.
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
A year ago, I worshipped from the middle of a desert space. I was confused, worried, broken. There was an urgency and abandonment in my cry to a God who I knew could make things right in my life, but at that moment had chosen not to. I didn’t understand, so I worshipped.
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand
I didn’t know it at the time, but last November we were on the cusp of God bringing that miracle to us. Mike began conversations with staff from our church eventually leading to his placement in the Youth Department and the opportunity to focus on finishing his degree. In a matter of months, everything changed. The uncertainty, the stress, the chaos all disappeared – and so did the desert.
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
I cried remembering how far we’ve come in the last year. God has brought us from a place of uncertainty and fear about the future, to a place of peace and a place of hope. He taught us how to depend on Him, how to trust in Him, and what it means to bring a sacrifice of praise. He blessed us by bringing us out of a desert season. But I’ve come to realize He blessed us by leading us into one too. There is so much we can be thankful for.
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow
* Lyrics from Blessed be Your Name by Matt Redman
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