In the mid 1990’s, I moved to Cairo, Egypt. As the plane landed, I looked out the window. I was shocked to see that there wasn’t any grass on the medians between the runway. On the drive to my new home, I was overwhelmed by the sea of tan dirt all around me. The Sahara Desert was my first culture shock having lived in a lush green area of East Texas my whole life. However, over time, I grew used to living in the desert and the lack of green vegetation. Then, early the year after I moved there, I decided to take a bus to Israel. We drove for hours through the desert until we came to the border. As I got out to walk across, I saw the strangest thing ever. All along the border there was a line of grass and flowers in the middle of this desert and it extended into Israel. It was an incredible sight to see life growing in the middle of a barren land.
The reason deserts lack life is because they lack water. Over 90% of Egyptians live along the Nile river because that’s the only way they can sustain life. Sure, there are people who live in the desert, but life is better and more easily sustained where there is water. Even along the Nile, I hadn’t seen what I saw at the border that day. Things were thriving at the border. It reminded me that God is able to do the impossible. He can grow life in the middle of nowhere and in the harshest environments. He is able to take our roughest, driest patches in life and spring up new life. He is able to take what looks like an end and create a new beginning. The desert we’re temporarily living in has the potential for life.
In Isaiah 43:18-19 God says, “Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert” (AMP). I believe God is still speaking to us through these verses. The desert you’ve been in is about to burst forth with life. It starts with us forgetting the things of the past that led us into the desert. We need to focus our attention on what God is doing right now in this dry season. He’s creating a pathway forward for you and bringing a river of life to your situation. What has been a barren time for you is about to be teeming with life. God does not abandon us in the desert and He’s able to make a way where there seems to be no way. Trust in Him, don’t lean on your own understanding, acknowledge what He’s doing and He will direct your path through this time (Proverbs 3:5-6).