“He [God] found them in a desert land,
In an empty, howling wasteland.
He surrounded them
And watched over them;
He guarded them as His most precious possession.”
The first morning I pushed open the heavy old iron door, the incredibly hot blast of burning desert heat literally took my breath away. The light was blinding. Having arrived in the dead of night, completely exhausted and disoriented, my waking exposure to this desert place was absolutely shocking. Shielding my eyes, all of my senses were assaulted at the same moment, I remembered thinking, “What kind of hell is this?!!! NOBODY should have to live here!”
I was in a massive refugee camp in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. My home in my beautiful, green dairyland in the USA seemed as if it was not even on the same planet as this place I had landed in the night.
Then, in the distance, I saw the black-covered figures . . . people leaning into the harsh wind, black robes blowing and faces covered against the stinging sands. Black-robed figures, a sea of tents and sand stretching as far as I could see. I will never forget that shocking scene..
That place . . . those people. . . have been in my life, my heart, for over two decades now. They have changed my life. I am SO thankful.
It has changed the way I read God’s Word, too. God, too, “found them (His chosen people) in a desert land…an empty, howling, wasteland.” His love for them was deep, and His plan for them had been so different than this. But God’s response was that of the Loving Father, “surrounding them. . . watching over them. . . guarding them . . . “ They were His most precious possession. the “apple” (pupil) of His Eye, through which all that is seen directly enters His mind.
I, too, have tasted that from my Loving Father. His lovingkindness stands out the most when I am in the harshest of life’s “desert.” How I got there, it seems, is secondary.
As our own world moves through these most unusual times, “even there” He sees, He knows,
He is present.