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The mini-van pulled a small U-Haul trailer full of furniture. They headed north out of Southern California, planning to go through the desert of Nevada on their way to Idaho. The mini-van had been fitted with a towing package, and it had towed a pop-up camper countless times. However, this trip through the “desert place” didn’t go as planned.
Somewhere in the middle of the desert, the engine began to overheat. That little U-Haul trailer was just too heavy for the mini-van, and the heat of the desert wasn’t helping. To try to cool the engine, they rested for a while. Then they drove with the windows down and the heater on inside the van to pull the heat away from the engine.
Thankfully that trip, which took place over 25 years ago, ended successfully, with the mini-van managing to pull the little trailer not only through the desert but all the way to its destination. No blown engine, and no heat stroke for the couple, either.
Can you imagine that trip through the desert? Hot, dusty, and oh-so-thirsty. The sun beating down relentlessly, and the barren stretch of land going on as far as the eye could see?
Does your relationship with the Lord feel like that sometimes? A dry and barren desert place with no oasis on the horizon?
I think if we’re honest, we’ve probably all been there. Maybe are there now. Will it truly go on like this forever, or is there hope for a change?
Matt Redman wrote the song “Blessed Be Your Name,” and the words offer an amazing perspective on our time in the desert place. (If you haven’t heard it, you can find it on Amazon.)
This song is one I hold tight to, even still. You see, during a time in my life that was particularly difficult and painful, we sang this song at church fairly often. When life was so hard, it was tough to sing. But it made me stop and think.
I love Matt’s declaration, and I chose to make it my own during the middle of the storm. When things are good, blessed be Your name. And when things are bad, blessed be Your name. Because God and His love for us, His glory, and His blessings on us are not dependent on our circumstances. We CAN choose to stand and say, “Blessed by Your name!”
If you’re in the desert today, friend, I encourage you to choose to praise Him. Even if you don’t feel like it. He will not abandon you but will walk with you through this time. And yes, there is an oasis on the horizon. Praise Him for it and allow Him to lead you to it. He will!