A TIME OF REFRESHMENT
Could it be that the desert is actually a time of spiritual refreshment? The psalmist declared:
Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing. (Psalm 65:9-13)
Right there in the wilderness, there are pastures being watered by the river of God and softened by the showers of His blessing. The barren places become productive, and a shout of joy arises from the weary travelers. Joy for the journey. Joy despite the journey. Joy to strengthen you for the journey. Joy to complete the journey.
Jesus often withdrew to the desert for rest, and He admonished His disciples to do so also:
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. (Mark 6:31-32)
It was in the wilderness that the prophet Elijah, tired and discouraged, received supernatural refreshment:.
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. (1 Kings 19:4-7)
After this time of spiritual and physical refreshment, Elijah heard the voice of God and received a new mandate for his ministry.
What a joy to a weary traveler in the wilderness to see an oasis--green trees, soft grass, and pools of fresh water. Among the joys of a spiritual wilderness is refreshment in the Lord. If you are tired and discouraged, come apart and get alone with Him. Allow God to minister to you in a time of spiritual retreat. Be refreshed in your desert oasis.