“When It Feels Like a Forever Desert”

I am lonely and troubled. Show that you care and have pity on me. My awful worries keep growing. Rescue me from sadness. I come to you for shelter. Protect me, keep me safe, and don’t disappoint me. I will obey you with all my heart, and trust you, knowing that you will save me. Psalms 25:16-17, 20-21 CEV

Masks are no longer associated with mere holiday parties; it is now part of our new normal. Whether you are a promoter or debater, it’s likely that you own at least one in order to enter certain public places.

Our new normal seems to be anything but — quarantined for at least 14 days post travel from or through various states, or because you have been in the presence of those afflicted with infection, or maybe you’ve exhibited symptoms or have underlying medical risks, you tend to feel a bit isolated and locked in, tucked away in the name of health, safety and protection. For those who are accustomed to free movement throughout their day, the mandates to remain safely at home take on a meaning that strikes a chord of more than inconvenience. Yes, for many folks, the isolation and seclusion are resulting in sour notes of loneliness.

Zoom parties and online gatherings pale in comparison to in-person intimacy — but in most cases, it’s the next best thing to being together. Skype, DuoChat and FaceTime apps are burning day and night to keep the connectivity alive. You would think that by now, four months in, that we would have settled in for the long haul and made the necessary adjustments for this unpredictable and unprecedented season in our lives. Truth be told, we haven’t .

The anxiety levels of many are on the rise — some have slipped into bouts of depression. Zen commercials are common, whereby 30 seconds of calm are induced via your television screen. Everyone knows there is stress and tension in the air and the reminder to exhale and release is now part of the broadcast.

Our verses above from Psalm 25 are reminders of how King David felt during times of despair — he lifts up his heart and prays straight up to GOD about how he is feeling … Have you done this lately, Girlfriend?

Are you experiencing loneliness and wondering where is GOD in all this?

King David articulates a confidence that GOD hears him and knows of his pain and agony from sadness and loneliness. In fact, just as you and I have verbalized to GOD in similar times of distress, David asks GOD for visible signs and proof that GOD has not forgotten him. David tells GOD that his worries are overwhelming him. But David also knows that his GOD is faithful — and he runs to Him for shelter seeking protection, safety. I love how David expresses his wholehearted devotion by committing his entire being (heart and soul) in obedience, trusting and knowing that GOD will save him. Even a king can feel anxious and desperate.

When worries threaten to overwhelm me, your soothing touch makes me happy. Psalms 94:19. NET

Do you need a soothing touch from your Heavenly Father? Pause here and tell Him what you need from Him at this moment.

I know that I do — frequently — in fact, I could ask for an entire divine massage right about now! Anyone else?

What are your fears at this time? Grab your journal, Girlfriend, and start writing these down — you need to see these as they form the conversation you need to have with GOD. Let Him hear your voice articulate and verbalize each one of these from your heart.

Being alone is a choice — loneliness is a state of being, and not the desired choice.

Listen to what GOD’s written Word says about Him when you’re feeling this way:

Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will be with you until the end of time. Matthew 28:20 EASY

Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for he cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 1 Peter 5:7 AMP

Reach out to ‘someone with skin,’ my Sweet Friend — call her, text her, email her if you must — but let someone you know and trust be the keeper of your tender emotions and treasured feelings. If you are in need of professional care, by all means, seek that out immediately. You are not an island in a vast ocean of ’emptiness.’ The Heart of the Father is bigger than we can imagine, and He will go to the end of the universe to help you understand His Love for you. Fill that void in you with the love of Christ from a sweet friend who can help carry your load and lend an ear. She may have a fresh perspective for you to feast upon!

Two or more people may meet together because they believe in me. If they do that, I will be there with them. Matthew 18:20 EASY

I have committed this season to turning inwardly to reflect where my thoughts have landed. Nothing happens without GOD’s Knowledge, this am sure of. So all my queries and concerns and thoughts that create this ‘soup’ of emotions I just continue to pour out to Him.

And maybe that’s where GOD wants us in this season of less certainty — on our knees in open dialogue with Our Father.

When the division among the Christian community over the practice of mask-wearing surfaces, it erodes the very core of fellowship, I believe that it’s time to stop and pray for revival of the heart of the Body of Christ. What have we allowed the enemy to do in our camp? Yes, when you zero in on the roots of all this ruckus, it’s the invasion of hell’s angels straight down the middle aisle. Not only are we unable to unite physically, but we have inadvertently handed the keys of the fellowship hall and the sanctuary to the opposition. Be proactive, Girlfriend, and swing wide open those doors and be a greeter of the lost — we can still be in worship without entering a physical building.

Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly continued authorities are only a threat if you’re tying to get by with something. Decent citizens should be nothing to fear. Romans 13:1-3 MSG

Could one purpose be to give all of us cause to deepen our relationship with Him through authentic prayer? Maybe to remember that we are called to look after the interests of one another in an unselfish manner? To learn to trust GOD with every part of our future, both the good and the bad?

Yet, Sister, this unpredictable tide should not overpower our foundation. We need to remember that we are not of this world — GOD continues to whisper to His People in and out of seasons of difficulty. So where are we spending our time? What has become our focal point? Where or Whom do we run to when we can’t see one foot in front of us? And what are we actively doing to remain full of GOD’s comfort?

The temptation to anesthetize our feelings and stuff our emotions deep into our pockets is great. This can manifest in the form of overindulgences (food, alcohol, substance, shopping, etc.) to conceal our true struggles. GOD says to avoid this we need spiritual muscle.

I want all the believers to become strong in their spirits. I want them to help each other because they love one another. Then God will bless them very much, because they understand God’s secret message very well. They will be completely sure of it. And they will know Christ himself, who is God’s secret. Colossians 2:2 EASY

The words: because they love one another — what does that mean to you? Isn’t that the very character of GOD Himself? Wasn’t it love that went to the Cross for our sins and took upon Himself the debt of us all?

Because of that, this is how you can make me completely happy: In your mind, think about things in the same way as one another. Love one another completely. In your spirit, agree with one another. And work together for the same purpose. Philippians 2:2 EASY

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 ESV

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. Romans 12:10 NKJV

I like the way the New King James Version translates Romans 12:10 by saying to give preference to one another. The sound of that phrase speaks volumes to my heart — the instruction teaches us to think of others before our own desires or conveniences. And don’t do it out of obligation, but with kind affection.

While He may not make everything crystal clear to me, that is His prerogative. I trust that He has purposed this entire pandemic for His Glory. I am confident that GOD in His Wisdom will allow for certain events to occur for His Strength and Power to manifest in the most unexpected ways.

But in the meantime, as we are called to be Christ Followers and leaders to the unbelieving world, we must keep at the frontal part of our brain that our actions will be the most impactful sermon — frame by frame as a movie on the big screen, those whose decisions for salvation hang in the balance will be influenced by our decisions and behavior on display.

As we retreat to our private places, let’s take the time we’ve been given to contemplate our relationship with our Heavenly Father — because that is the place love became real and received meaning. That place where we were brought in and made whole.

Can you recall how you felt when you grabbed hold of your Savior for the first time? When the words: “You are loved and forgiven,” became your reality? Take the time here to reflect on this and write it down. Describe with as much detail as you can recall.

Commit to joy and wear her like fine jewelry.

Without love internally, it is impossible to love externally. GOD’s love will flow from you to a thirsty world — and will comfort the one walking through her own desert.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 ESV

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary

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