When my husband received military orders to change duty stations from home sweet home San Diego to the fiery dunes of Arizona, I wanted to scream. Throw a fit. Die.
Why, dear God, would You ever send us out of this lush, green, vibrant beach of endless sunshine to the scorching, unforgiving desert?
I couldn’t stand it. I faked it. I faked optimism. I faked happiness. Inside I was furious. Until the day came we said good-bye to our first home we ever owned in Mira Mesa, and found ourselves 3 hours later in (I kid you not) 128-degree weather.
I was no longer furious. I was downright desperate.
That first week of settling into our new duty station was the first time God ever showed His power to me.
My husband had gotten a call from his gunny or other to report to base ASAP, so I raced madly while my husband got dressed in the passenger’s seat, driving on an unpaved off-beaten road. What do I know of unpaved roads in the desert, anyway? Five minutes later, I drove over some deep, deep sand. And got stuck.
We were literally in the middle of nowhere. As luck would have it, the gas light was on. Both our phones had less than 5% battery. No service (hello, it’s the desert). And it was over 110-degrees out.
Surely, I thought we would die stranded. Our kids (who were staying with my sister at the hotel) would be orphans.
And then…it hit me. Empty gas tank, no service, stranded car. This was no coincidence. God was trying to get my attention. He had me right where He wanted me.
So I stopped trying to help my husband push the car. Stopped crying. Stopped freaking out.
And there, in the middle of nowhere, with hot sand and wind swirling all over my face, I knelt.
I closed my eyes and wept. Didn’t say anything, didn’t ask God for help. I just wept. And after a long time, in the quiet of my heart, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Be still.” And instantly, like a rush of warm, beautiful, pure energy that I can’t quite express, I felt PEACE like I’ve never felt before.
Peace in such a desperate time.
This Lenten season, pause your life for a minute. Whatever it is you’re trying so hard to control in your life — whether it’s pushing a stranded car or filling up an empty tank — pause for a moment. I invite you to go to the deepest deserts of your heart. We all have one.
Find God in the midst of the hot sand and wind. It’s in the most desperate times of our lives that we need to press into Him, not against Him.
Empty yourself totally. Disconnect. Unplug.
Humble yourself before the Lord + listen to what He so longs to tell you. Wait on the Lord.
Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister.