Monday, August 3, 2020

Streams in the Desert

Yesterday, I paid for a sitter so I could go on a day hike. I chose to go to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. It's a vast place with many areas I have not yet covered even though I've been there exploring many times. I always learn from nature, maybe that's why I am so drawn to keep going back. Several things stood out to me but one thing I kept noticing was beautiful little flowers growing along the rocky terrain. 

Over the miles, I kept seeing these colorful patches of flowers in such unlikely places. I wondered how they grew in such adverse conditions. But all it took was a little bit of soil and a few drops of rain here and there to make a desert, wilderness area pop with beauty. Of course, I drew the parallel to our lives as caregivers.

We live in what can be very rocky circumstances as caregivers. On one hand, each day is the same over and over. Yet there are so many unexpected things that become the norm too. I know you understand that! We never know when an aid won't show, we have to call urgent care or the doctor, or what any given day may bring. Many caregivers, myself included, deal with loneliness of unheard of depths because our friends are long gone and the few we have keep a "safe distance" like we have the plague. Even with the bright spots and joys of caregiving, it can be a very difficult, rocky place emotionally.

Yet in the midst of it all, God remains faithful and somehow in those little areas here and there where we think surely nothing could grow- He brings forth beauty. We don't always sense it or see it ourselves, though do we? Yet here and there are pockets of intricately designed beauty wrought by the hand of God. 

He is still intimately connected with us as caregivers. He still brings the rain to water the soil of the driest hearts - even though sometimes they are watered with our tears. God continues to bring beauty from ashes. Actually, He appoints beauty for ashes for those who mourn in Zion. (Isaiah 61:3) I remember reading this and thinking, wait  - there's mourning in Zion? Zion is the City of God - His dwelling place and yet there is mourning there. Wow. Yet He appoints beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for our mourning - right there where we are.

In our moments of mourning, living grief, sadness, loneliness - God brings beautiful growth. Just like the beautiful flowers in the midst of dry rocky soil - somehow He is able to bring a thing of beauty out of our lives. Oftentimes, we don't see it ourselves, but it's there. His handiwork drawing intricately beautiful spots in the midst of our wilderness.

Today, I'm going to thank Him for continuing to work in me - even in the midst. I will trust that He is bringing beauty even when I don't see it or feel it myself. I pray that others see the beauty He brings  as they are on their own journey of faith. I will ask Him to show me the beauty He as appointed to me - in Zion. Will you join me?

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