Saturday, July 16, 2011
It truly looks like a wilderness - a desert - that is crying out for a drink. But let me share another picture of wilderness.
Webster defines wilderness as (1) a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings, (2) an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community, (3) an empty or pathless area or region, (4) a wild or uncultivated state, (5) a confusing multitude or mass : an indefinitely great number or quantity, or (6) a bewildering situation.
Well, let me add this - the endless amount of water that stretched out before us as we fished on the Gulf of Mexico. Memories of high school memorization assignments swept over me as I recalled Coleridge's famous words from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink." And to top that - there were no fish to be caught. I joked later with my family, "I guess even the fish are fasting and praying," since none were interested in our awesome looking bait. So much water. No end in sight. It gives you an overwhelmed sense, much like the overwhelmed feeling of the heat and dryness that strikes you in the face when you step out of your home or car.
Two passages flooded into my heart!
Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. (Psalm 29:2-4)
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts
That the peoples labor to feed the fire,
And nations weary themselves in vain?
For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:13-14)
Those endless waters can overwhelm us with "wilderness" feelings but they also remind us of the nature of our God. In our wilderness walk He wants to remind us to "draw only unto Him as your help and salvation." I just saw one of those famous church signs as we drove up to our home last night. It read "Even in a drought, the Lord still reigns." Yes He does. And this is about His reign and His kingdom. Like everyone else, I am pleading for rain, but I am more anxious for our hearts, like drought seared ground, to cry out for the reign, the presence and the kingdom of our God.