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wasteland

“Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    . . . hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord . . .
    and he delivered them . . .
 Let them give thanks to the Lord  . . .
 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:4-9).

Fear clinches her stomach. Emptiness rises like bile to burn in her chest. She staggers through weeks and months as if trudging across endless sand dunes. Daily stress rises to sear her skin like desert sun rays. As she parts her lips, the dry world of her wasteland burns into her throat. With a gasping plea, she at last musters a simple prayer. Help me, Lord.

The blaze persists. Dunes still overwhelm the view. Yet, her escape has begun.

She wriggles outstretched fingers toward the sand-walled horizon, anticipating mist from an unseen waterfall. With a dry, cracked hand, she picks up a branch for a staff. Peace floods into her spirit, soothing away the thirst of emptiness and fear. Her pace quickens. She might not sprint, but she now marches. To the streams she knows from within her. Where answered prayers have begun to lead her onward.

Ever felt lost in the wasteland? Hunger and thirst roil from physical needs, spiritual angst, or both. From health problems or financial devastation to inner storms of depression and stress, life can leave us feeling stranded in a desert-like existence. When despair overwhelms us, we recognize our inability to escape on our own strength. We can either succumb to its ravages or cry to the Lord for help.

A heartfelt prayer, no matter how simple or weak, vaults to heaven. God hears. And the escape begins.

The wasteland will not vanish in a moment, but you will gain resources to sustain you. Peace and hope nourish the soul, equipping you to march toward something beyond your view. A fresh draft of God-supplied faith empowers you to take the next steps. The cross beam becomes a staff to steady you on the way to fulfilled hope. God’s answer to your prayer for rescue has come, even as you await the answer of full deliverance.

Our miraculous answer to prayer is thriving, not only after our deliverance from the wasteland, but also during the journey of our escape.

What’s your miraculous answer to prayer today?

cactus (2)

Start in the center, right? I’ve got strong cords for God’s calling, my work, family, and others branching out to hold my structure. Sounds good so far. Weave my efforts from calling through the next section of family and around others…keep going…to a few inches’ start. As long as I can keep focused and go slowly, the pattern looks great. No missed spines or rows. But, I can’t spend all of eternity weaving this basket. At the plod of perfectionism, it’ll take two lifetimes to finish this. A literal deadline looms ahead. I have to weave faster. Just as I’m getting the hang of weaving faster, the shape expands. I have to cover more area in the same amount of time? I got a rhythm on the calling part, but missed a payment. That could set my column out of shape a bit. Can’t miss it again. I didn’t get the house cleaning done. Time for laundry, and then work. Record keeping needs attention there, or it’ll get distorted. Oh, and extended family will be in town. I have three days to my event. Must weave faster, better steps. Missed sleep. Trying to fix it with relaxation, but now I’m behind on my deadline…

What kind of funky looking basket am I gonna end up with here, anyway? I’ve been trying to do all these things at once, and it doesn’t look like I accomplished anything. Is there anyone who did this right? Somebody who can help me out here?

Well, it just so happens, I do know a Guy.

The Master has been waiting for me to ask for help on this project. He said I could sit closer to Him so that I can hear Him call out the step-by-step instructions.

“Master, what about the top of the basket? How do you create the finished look in the end?”

He told me we’d get to the end when it’s time. I just have to listen for His voice and follow His guidance. He’ll tell me when to weave time over my calling and when to attend to the other details. I can get His help with a weekly pattern, so I don’t miss payments or stress out during visits with family. 

Well, that sounds less overwhelming already. And, even if I can’t envision how this basket will look when it’s done, I look forward to weaving it at my Master’s side. Thanks be to God!

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