Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water. – Exodus 15:27
This verse is very encouraging for me. Yesterday’s reflection acknowledged that Christians can have “dry” times in their lives and even God’s provision during these times can seem “bitter”. What this verse says to me is if we are faithful and persevere, God will provide for us in an extravagant way (12 springs when one would have done the job).
We can be confident that an oasis is waiting, even when it seems to be painfully distant in time or space. A couple of years ago I was visiting a sibling that was battling terminal cancer in Bandon, Oregon. There were many times when the water certainly seemed bitter. I spent a lot of time in prayer and reflection trying to figure out what my role should be in caring for my dying brother. It was very hard and I often felt like I was wandering in a desert.
While I was going for a walk one morning God led me to an oasis of understanding and peace. I happened upon a reproduction of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in a grove of Douglas Fir trees. Apparently there is debate about the meaning of this labyrinth and whether it was a druidical symbol. I can only tell you what it meant to me and God that day.
I walked the path and prayed. I was struck by the amazing symbolism and connection to our spiritual journey through life…sometimes we feel close to God…sometimes far away. We can choose to stay on the outside in the “waiting area” looking in toward the center or we can begin the journey toward the center knowing that the path is not straight or easy. If we persevere God will provide us with abundant springs of living water along the way. The important thing is to keep moving and seeking the center…no shortcuts…even if it seems like we are moving away from God for a time.
Prayer: God help me to persevere and trust that you will lead me to oases of living water in my life that are extravagant, just like your love for me.SDG