What has been desert will become fruitful land, and what has been fruitful land will become desert (Ps107 v33-35). How often it is that the Lord turns the established order on its head – perhaps to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted, both of which is to our good, and His glory.
How much do we desire the Living Water of Life? And how often do we find ourselves at the broken cisterns, drinking in the illusions, pretence lending a form to the madness?
How much of the Church’s history have we lived in a desert, grasping at withered husks, once alive but now long dead, deluding ourselves that we see life, that we are actually in an abundant and verdant land, flowing with milk and honey?
The Church’s history sometimes seems like an arid desert. On occasion it is drenched by the grace of God, leading to an abundant flowering, as the whole desert blooms into life. But then we trust to that beauty and no longer look to the source. So, in time, the beauty withers, and what once was verdant, becomes parched desert again. And we again delude ourselves that the withered husks that once contained life, still do.
All through the ages, I see oases in the midst of this, places where the beauty of God can be seen amidst the arid barrenness. And those that cling to the husks, they hate these places, they rail against them, they close their eyes and blaspheme against them – for the Life that is contained within reveals to them their poverty – showing the illusion for what it is – a sham and a mockery of the kingdom.
Yet, just like the desert, there are still seeds of faith sown within the arid land, faithful deposits left by those now long gone. Would that we might pray for, desire, beseech and seek the rain of Grace – to water what has long been desert, and see those seeds grow once again. What beauty there would be!
One day, one final day, there will flow a River, the River that makes glad the City of God. Then the desert, the desert that so many of us dwell in, will become forever verdant and fruitful. We will at last enter in to the fullness of life that He Himself has ordained for us – ordained before the founding of the world.