Deserts seem to come and go as you journey along. Deserts can be defined as those places where you feel “stuck”, bewildered, firmly positioned in place, blocked, angry, envious, discontented, not seeming to progress, or simply “Blah!” You long for an oasis, a place of cooling shade, a refreshing taste of water on your parched tongue, a resting place for your weary heart. What to do?

Perhaps as the Feast of Pentecost approaches, you might read again another story you know so well, John 4:7-15, the meeting of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. She, if you recall, came to the well to draw water mid-day - not the best time to trudge out in the heat of day and lug heavy water jars back home – but here she is. Jesus, resting by the well asks her for a drink of water. She is surprised, not only by the request, but more so because of cultural taboos – the Samaritans and Jews did not associate.

Jesus has even more surprises as he assures her that if she knew who he was, she would ask him for a drink of water. Being a practical woman she says – “You don’t even have a bucket and the well is deep! How can you give me water?”

And isn’t that sometimes our response to the Lord? “Lord how can you refresh me in this current situation? You don’t even seem to be here. There is no way out of this. What do you mean by saying to me, ‘Ask and I will give you living water?’ ”

What is it that you stand most of need of in your current situation?  First, pray for openness to the Lord, (it also helps to drink a few sips of water and take several deep breaths) and then identify and express to the Lord what you feel you are most in need of: is it Peace? Patience? Kindness? Joy? Direction? Love? Understanding? Courage? Help?  Rest? Or something else? This kind of directness and honesty with the Lord is powerful. There is no guarantee that you will be immediately flooded with light and understanding. However, that very act of asking might be a moment of your greatest progress! What is it the Lord is asking you to admit to yourself? What is it you need to let go of or do to prepare room for the gift you need?  

Blessings as you journey into and through those desert places. Will you open your heart to receive the gift the Lord has for you even in those desert places where you feel stuck?   -- Jackie F.