“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).
The desert holds a special place in God’s Word. The Scriptures portray the desert as a place of inspiration and exaltation – a place where people met God in a powerful new way. King David wrote the 63rd Psalm while in exile in the Desert of Judah. He was hiding from his son Absalom, who wanted to replace him as king of Israel.
For Joseph, a deep pit in the desert was the first stop on a 13-year journey through desolation and despair. That 13-year desert experience served to break Joseph’s self-will and self-confidence. It taught him that he could not control anything and that he needed to rely on God to manage the events in his life. Joseph’s desert trial prepared him by scorching the youthful pride and arrogance out of his young life so that when he was 30 years old he could rule Egypt at Pharaoh’s side in a spirit of humility and servant-hood.
Before becoming king of Israel, David was a shepherd. Part of his training for leadership involved hand-to-claw combat with the beasts of the wilderness, including the lion and the bear. Elijah learned the principles of spiritual leadership while in the wilderness of Gilead. And Jesus was tempted and tested for 40 days in the desert before He began to preach.
Perhaps God has given you a dream, but now it seems that your dream has withered and died under the scorching desert sun. It seems that God has gone away and is not listening to your prayers. But I want you to know that that your dream still lives. God is with you, even if you can’t see Him, hear Him or sense His presence. He is preparing you in the desert.