Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blooming in the Desert

The desert is home to many creatures. Depending on your view of evolution, you may believe those creatures slowly adapted to their hostile environment over time. Or, you may believe (as I do) that God created desert creatures to not only survive, but thrive, in a seemingly inhospitable environ.

Regardless of how the desert-dwellers became such, they have embraced the desert as their home. And, to them, it is home; comfortable, familiar, safe.

I am beginning to recognize that my sojourn in the desert will be longer than I expected. A dose of much needed reality was handed to me (quite gently) recently; the challenges I'm facing are not short-term, acute issues. They are long-term, chronic, never-gonna-go-away challenges that redefine normal and force me to (yet again) adjust expectations. The challenges being faced by my precious little ones aren't significant, in the grand world of "special needs." Milestones aren't being missed by much. But, they are being missed and that reality requires adjustment.

The amazing lesson I am learning, however, is that the desert really can be home. It can be familiar, even comfortable. Rest and refreshment, so difficult to find, so overwhelming look for at the beginning of the journey, have some how become not such a burden. The quiet can be peaceful rather than lonely, and the isolation helps draw attention to the incredible value of those friends who have stuck around.

A desert journey is not what I would choose. My preference is for mountain tops and secluded valleys, snow capped peaks or wooded glens; fresh water, clear air, and plenty of easy-to-aquire food. Rarely have I looked back on such experiences, though, with a deeper, stronger appreciation for the God I love and serve. The times in my life when I have learned the most about God (His faithfulness, His love, His righteousness) have been the times when He has been with me through the desert.

Surprisingly, I can honestly say that I wouldn't trade what God is teaching me for an easier journey. I wish my children had an easier journey, but even that is a source of praise to my great God; they are home with me and I can help them prepare for their own desert adventure. Jesus said that we would have troubles in this life. Then He gave the admonition not to fear, for He had overcome the world. What a great comfort.

Someone gave me the admonition (and challenge) to bloom where I have been planted. So, by God's grace, that is what I will do, right here in the middle of my desert.

No comments: