Dry and Desert Times
Every leader knows dry times and the feeling of being in the desert. This happens in many areas of our lives and we just hope the dry times don't happen in multiple areas at the same time.
I had the opportunity to meet with three friends to have a day of prayer together. This practice has been such a source of strength for me as a leader since I started doing it in 1986.
I open up my journal to you so you can reflect on desert and dry times in your life and possibly find some rest and relief from God.
Psalm 63: A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah
1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
God you are my God. I am seeking you earnestly about my future, children, finances, work projects and my wife's health. Religion and god-talk has made my heart cold and hard. I miss sweet times of fellowship with you. Working in a church many times feels like a dry and weary land where there is no water. The professional activities of pastoral ministry can rob the simple joy of being loved by you God.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
I now look to you in the sanctuary of my heart -the sacred place where you and I have had sweet times of fellowship. I am looking at your power and glory. Power over sin, death, Satan, demons, evil and everything which is against you. Glory is the radiance of your presence.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life my lips will praise you.
Your love is consistent and never vacillating up and down. Life in this world is not a great as your love. I will praise you because I am loved by you. It doesn't matter what other people think about me. I am a loved child of the King-Lord-Father.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live in your name I will lift up my hands.
I have been praising you ever since I was 14 when you captured my heart and changed my allegiance to follow you. I am lifting my hands to your character. May my life, words, thoughts, work, coaching, husbandry, fathering and all things be praise to you.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
When I eat good pizza on Friday nights I think "Life is good". When my soul is with you Father, I know that Life is good. I will praise you with joyful lips. Help me rise above the circumstances of life. The cares and worries of the world can put a damper on the joy of the Lord.
6 when I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
Insomnia comes on me when I am stressed out like this season. Bed and night represents times of rest like a day of prayer or a Lord's Day Sabbath. I will remember you and meditate on you when I rest. I remember your love, faithfulness, provision, wisdom, joy, peace, quiet yet firm presence, promises and character.
7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
You have been my help for my whole life. You are helping me in so many more ways that I am even aware of. I am close to you, so close that your shadow covers me. Your wings give me comfort and confidence so I sing for joy. Not joy just in an emotion but a deep desire of joy.
8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
I am clinging to you and I am in a place of honor with you. Your right hand is on me to say, "I am here, I love you, I will guide you, I will provide for you".
9 But those who seek to destroy my lips shall go down into the depths of the earth;
Satan, my old nature, the world system are trying to destroy my life. These enemies will be crushed, stomped out, and put away for good.
10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword they shall be a portion for jackals.
They will be cut down and eaten by unclean animals who have no purpose.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;all who swear by him shall exult for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
The King rejoices in God. I exercise king-like leadership in various areas. You have made me desire to see Kings (Leaders) rejoicing in you.
Which of these verses gives you rest and relief?