Throughout my life and ministry, I have seen a pattern of a period of God’s blessing followed by a dry spell, then repeat. I have never been one to be content with the dry spells. I always want to see tangible results. When those results don’t keep coming, my impatience and frustration rise to the top. Many would say that our moments in the desert are punishment or an indication that we are doing something wrong. That can be the case, but this is not the general rule.
Sometimes God orchestrates our time in the desert for our own personal growth. Jesus was often led to the desert to pray, be tempted, or experience moments with the Father. One account states He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. I needed this reminder today.
My desert has lasted for the last 7 years. When I resigned my first pastorate in November 2013 due to the demise of my home, I stepped into a desert. Initially, I was ready to dismiss a return to the pastorate because I equated that with everything that went wrong in my life. The destruction of my home had little if anything to do with the pastorate, and it did not take away the passion in my heart to preach and Shepherd God’s people.
The last 7 years have been filled with tons of fillers. I have tried multiple types of ministry. I went back in to music ministry. I started a church. I even stepped into a season of ministering to pastors. These were not fruitless, but they have not satisfied. I have asked God why a pastorate hasn’t opened up for me. Is it due to my decades long reputation as a “song boy” because of all the years in music ministry? Is there any church 30-60 minutes from here that can actually see God still has His hand on me and that He could use me in their context? Tons of questions flow through my mind.
The truth to which I must cling is that God will place me at the appointed place at the appointed time. In this desert, He is still preparing me. God hasn’t tossed me in a garbage can to rot until I die. He is still working in my heart to prepare me for the next assignment.
Are you in a dry, barren place in life? God hasn’t forgotten you. He does His best work in deserts. Sometimes we can’t notice God is giving us life-imparting water until we are in a dry place where we become thirsty. Let God have His perfect work. He’s not done! He’s just begun!