Desert Roads and Promised Lands

 

Last night, a friend’s post prompted me to listen to the song “Hungry” again.  It reminded me of some words I wrote a few years ago. I had quoted the lyrics in a book I was writing. I’ve never finished the book. The project began to go in a direction I wasn’t expecting and I wasn’t sure how to proceed.  Sharing a portion of it in this space today:

 

 “Hungry I come to You

For I know You satisfy

I am empty

But I know your love does not run dry

So I wait for you

So I wait for you

I’m falling on my knees

Offering all of me

Jesus, you’re all this heart is living for”

**********

I was driving a stretch of highway in Texas when I got the call on my cell phone. Texas is a big state. And if you have never driven through the entire state, a little word of caution when you do, it takes about six months to cross this portion of land by car, It’s much like the Israelites never ending trek through the desert. (Just kidding…don’t hate me, Texas.) Anyway, I was somewhere in the middle of this big state when I clicked the “end call” button on my phone and the dam broke…again. The tears rolled down my face…again. It wasn’t the first time the chapter I was currently living would contain bouts of uncontrollable crying nor would it be the last time either.

It was April and I was traveling from Arizona to North Carolina to find a place to live and to begin my new job. The caller was an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was the same agent who had called me a few months earlier to inform me they had been watching my soon to be ex husband’s activities for over a year now. Apparently, they even warned him to stop but the illegal activities continued. When I filed for separation (and then eventually divorce) I was aware things were bad but I had no idea how bad. I never thought it would escalate to the point where the FBI would be calling me, asking me questions, and letting me know they had plans to prosecute. This call was to inform me that my husband was in custody. He would be going to federal prison.

That day, as I traveled down a seemingly never ending stretch of desert highway in Texas, I received news I never thought would be a part of my journey. I know everyone, at some point in their lives, must travel through bleak and hopelessly barren lands. Sometimes, and quite often, it’s because of the poor choices we have made along the way and the wrong turns we have taken. Those trips will leave us feeling helplessly lost. Other times, like the Israelites, it’s because God is leading us to some place better.

My desert journey was a result of disobedience but, as I would discover, despite my stubborn and wandering fear filled heart, this desert place wasn’t where my story needed to end. God was beckoning me onward, to follow Him through the desert, and into the unknown land stretched out ahead. Although I couldn’t see it yet, I was heading to a spot my heart was desperately aching to find, a spacious place. I was heading toward the Promised Land.

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