In the Wasteland
an unused area of land that has become barren or overgrown.
synonyms: wilderness, desert
Waiting in seasons that feel dry and dead is nothing new to humankind. It's quite common and likely to happen more than once or twice in a lifetime. Waiting is mentioned over and over again in the Bible, yet when we come to this place of dry weariness, we begin to doubt the very Creator of the wastelands as well as the abundant forests. Waiting. How we hate that word. We hate that feeling. We hate that we cannot control everything and often times in the waiting we try to make things happen, which then falls apart, and then we are back in this dry place of waiting.
Dry is not dead though. Wastelands are not a waste of time or space. And waiting is not the equivalent of God being done with us---- no... in fact, the waiting is just the beginning of the blessing, the waiting IS the blessing. How is it a blessing? You are stuck there, you endure it, and something beautiful is miraculously birthed in this place of what the world calls lifelessness.
And it is in this time of waiting that we find the One who has been waiting on us all along. It is in this place, where it feels like no one else is around, like the world has abandoned you, and you aren't quite sure whats around the corner other than most likely more sand and dirt... it is here that we wander and as we wander there is a Father who is calling us closer and closer to Him.
He's in the waiting. He's in the blessing. He is in the miracle, the confusion, the heartbreak, the joy, the sorrow, He is in the wastelands. He is there with you through it all... awaiting His sons and daughters to simply turn around and come running into His arms. Wastelands are a catalyst for deeper intimacy with God. It draws us out, away from the crowds, away from others' opinions, and away from the things we have turned our full hearts desires to, and it causes of to have to get a new perspective and to seek something greater than the drylands and ourselves--- to seek our Father.
Barren, unused, or dry and overgrown does not equal useless. It does not mean there is no hope there still either. It means we search for the life, we search for the water, our source of survival and thriving in that dry place with everything in our being because we know we cannot make it without something to quench the thirst for something more.
We have a King... a God, who roams the wilderness and dry places with us. He doesn't leave us there alone. He waits, patiently, for us to seek Him. And when we seek Him in these seasons (and all seasons), oh, how sweet it is. To be fully captivated by the Creator. To forget what's going on around us and to instead get wrapped up in this Being, this Being so much bigger and better than we can imagine... to embrace our Father fully and wholly because there is nothing else around in this wasteland... this is where we find freedom. This is where we find purpose, identity, steadfastness, joy, and love beyond understanding.
The wastelands were never meant to kill us or suck us dry... they were made to bring us to the Living Water, to the One who is the only true source of hope, life, and love. It is in these places that God produces and blooms such beautiful things that don't fade, things like joy and steadiness and endurance... but more importantly, this is where intimacy with our Creator is brought in a new and deeper way. So don't curse your waiting, Child, please, don't wish away your waiting in the wastelands... yes, pray for the season to come, but don't forget to entirely enter into the heart of the dry places to find a Comforter so much greater than the pain and weariness. He will give you rest. He will restore you. And here, right here next to you, you will find the Creator walking with you... in the wasteland.
"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy..." Isaiah 35:1-2 NIV
“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 ESV