Devotions

The Paradox of the Desert

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“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” Exodus 3:1

The backside of the desert can seem like a place of barrenness. When your journey takes you on a path you are not prepared for, such as disapproval, criticism, health problems, or relationship woes, your calling may be challenged.

Natural gifts and abilities no longer seem strong enough to keep you going and the emptiness you have witnessed in the eyes of others is suddenly reflected when you look in the mirror. You are in a desert place.

Desert Experiences

Loneliness and weariness will push you to into self-evaluation. You may ask questions like, “Did I miss God’s leading?” or, “Did I make a poor judgment call?” Sometimes the answer is yes, but sometimes it’s no.

We can learn so much from Moses’ desert experience with God. He was ripped from his comfort zone when he fled the scene of murdering an Egyptian and then retreated to a desolate place. There, in Midian, he accepted a position from his father-in-law that was far below his capability. Didn’t Jethro know that he grew up in Pharaoh’s home? Didn’t God know he was made for more?

Can you imagine Moses’ conversations with God as he wanders through the desert? He must have re-evaluated his decisions a thousand times wondering, “Wasn’t I chosen to deliver my people?” “What was your purpose for me growing up in Pharaoh’s home?” What is my purpose now?”

The paradox of the desert is: When you are in the driest and most barren season of your life, there is hope. On the backside of the desert, you can clearly hear God’s voice.

There is stillness in the most absurd places. It was not in Pharaoh’s house, but on the backside of the desert where Moses met God. It was there where God revealed Moses’ personal assignment.  The paradox of desert places is there is an oasis to revive your spirit.

Prayer: Lord, I want to see the miraculous during the driest seasons of my life. I want to meet you face to face on the backside of the desert. Help me to trust You, even when I question my purpose.

Angela Overton

Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. She is an ordained minister with the UPCI, has a Masters Degree in Theology, and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her amazing husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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