The sky was filled with stars, his dwelling place was an empty place, a dry place, a parched place, an inhospitable place. The man with a heart of a king opened his eyes to a dwelling of a lost kin; the desert. The place where men, if they stay there long enough, are lost and forgotten. A place that if not careful will make you see things that are not real. A place that twists your reality with fable to a point where you cannot distinguish which is which, and in the process, kills your hope. This is where David made for a season, his dwelling place; an unprotected place.
Haven’t you been here? I think we all have visited the desert more times than what we would like to admit. It is a lonely place. One that others look from afar and choose to keep their distance, even when they see us struggling. It is that place in which lack, ungratefulness, broken promises, shunning, unforgiveness, restlessness, exhaustion, desperation, among others, become our companions day and night. It is here where every option we have, are often bad ones. It is a harsh place. Here you start looking to your needs and nothing else. Selfishness arises, and understandably so. Dry places, where there is no water, birth exhaustion and thirst. How do we respond to that?
Our natural inclination is self-preservation. We cling to what we have and desperately look for clues of how to get out of this desert that engulfs our every living minute. We breathe, think and see dryness, every day, every place we look at, every door we knock. David felt exactly the same way. In Psalm 63 he gives us the answer. Curiously enough, the answer was precisely the name of the place he was in. David was in the Desert of Judah. I can just but imagine that when he started to write and memorialize and as he penned down the date and the place, he realized one thing; he was still in Judah. The answer to his current dilemma was in the name of the place he was actually in. It seems like a contradiction, but it is not. Judah means “he will be praised.” The answer to the desert is praise.
Praise changes everything. Our desert is a place of limited options. Oddly, it also offers us the best one as well; God himself. When we realize that, we understand that our desert is a place to occupy ourselves in God, not on us. To focus our attention on Him. The answer to your lack is Praise; to the shunning of men, Praise; to the turning of backs, Praise; to the condemnation of men, Praise; to the loss of respect, Praise; to the loss of hope, Praise; to unanswered pleads for help, Praise.
How would you praise if you knew that the pathway out of your desert was praise? David knew this so he praised: “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:3-5.
The answer to your desert is praise.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.