This is a guest post from Monica Boughdady - a medical student from London, England who has guest posted on my blog before. You can follow Monica on her blog, Let Me Be a Woman, and also on twitter @MonicaBoughdady. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
When you’ve tasted the sweetness of the living water, there’s nothing more unbearable than the dryness of the desert.
I work harder, pleading for His presence, trying to push myself to find some sort of emotional connection to the words I have read over and over in my Bible. Somehow, I still leave feeling empty and unfulfilled. I feel like saying with Isaiah the prophet, “My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens” (Isaiah 38:14).
I guess it’s because somewhere along the way, I’ve slipped into thinking that when I can’t feel God, He has abandoned me. In other words, I equate God’s silence with God’s absence.
But is that really the case?
God never promised us happiness, He promised us sanctification. God never promised us a carload of pleasant emotions. He promised us trials and tribulations. He didn’t promise to take those things away from us; but rather He promised to overcome those things and help us live above them.
So when I rise in the morning and open my Bible and stare at the pages “unfeeling”, I can still smile and bow my head to my Maker. I can still believe that He will make waters spring forth from the desert. I can still find my hope in His promises.
The sun still beats down and the sand still burns my weary feet but I will keep on walking. That’s because I am CHOOSING JOY. In the desert, joy is not a dance of feelings, but rather an act of belief. When you make joy a choice, nothing can shake it. It’s no longer a feeling; it’s a choice.
True and lasting joy is not easy; it’s definitely a struggle. It’s something we’re always walking towards. A monk named Moses says “Joy is the light of the virtuous. It springs from the depths of existence. It is not something make-believe, exterior, illusory, but something quite profound.”
Yes there will be struggle to find joy, but we must not despair or grow weary in the process. I personally always find hope in a verse from the prophet Isaiah:
“The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1)
Sometimes it is hard to believe that anything beautiful can come out of the desert. But one day the desert sands will slip away and the flower of joy that has been growing dormant under the sand will blossom beautifully.
I know it because God promised it and God never lies. My feelings may lie, but God never does.
"The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them." (Isaiah 41:17)