Not knowing what I would say before I opened my mouth, I spoke.
I was sitting on the deck behind our house. The sun was shining that day, my loved ones were healthy, and I had much to be grateful for.
Yet, on the inside—just for a time—it felt like I had woken up in a desert. As a friend pointed out to me this week, sometimes it can feel like we've suddenly woken up in a desert and don't quite understand how we got there. Anyone feel me? These are the days when maybe we just feel a little dried out, uninspired, unworthy, and disconnected. On this day, I was feeling particularly blue because of mistakes I had made. Poor choices on my part left my soul feeling parched, bone dry and barren, and I was left to experience the effects of wandering away. It doesn't have to always be big mistakes that bring us to this point. Sometimes the little things that build up over time carry us just as far.
While acknowledging the "desert soil" surrounding my heart, I was hesitant to run to God, because I just didn't want to deal with my feelings. However, as I sat outside, I opened my mouth anyway to speak aloud to the Creator who loves me. In those first few words spoken, there was a burden lifted. As the words of prayer fell off my tongue, there was a rush of God's presence. I was met by His embrace, and His heart reminded me of who I am, regardless of feeling out of place and foreign in my current situation. Nobody else may see it while it happens, but as I speak His words for my own, I am filled with His power and strength. I am fearless. I am one with His Spirit, and I am a child of God. I am a daughter of the King. I am worthy. Nobody else may know, but in those quiet moments of prayer, I feel radiant and unstoppable.
Truthfully, I am as fractured and damaged as can be. We all are. The Bible calls us jars of clay for a reason. "I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery." [Psalms 31:12] We aren't perfect. We are painfully flawed, and we break more easily than we'd like to admit. Luckily, for us, 2 Corinthians paints a beautiful image of this for us.
"But it was God who also said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ and made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ...We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body...
It is written: 'I believed; therefore, I have spoken.' Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak..." [2 Corinthians 4:6-10,13]
Therefore, we speak. We speak of Him. We speak for Him. We speak to Him. Amidst our flaws, we can always access His heart when we speak words we are too afraid to say. His Spirit alone is the soul quenching thirst we all crave. For when we ask for His presence to come, it's a "fall on your knees in freedom" kind of feeling as it hits.
It was God who spoke life into existence [Hebrews 11:3]. And just like that, He can speak life into our deepest pains, doubts, and insecurities.
It was Jesus who spoke and raging waters fell silent [Matthew 8:23-27]. And just like that, we can speak in His name, and peace will silence despair. It will comfort a broken heart, an anxious child, and a lost soul who's wandered a little too far.
It was Jesus who spoke the words "It is finished," conquering death and forever paying our consequences of sin [John 19:30]. And just like that, we have no fear in death and hardship.
If there's anyone out there who might be "waking up in the desert," a little weary, a little weak, a little tired, a little frail, a little uncertain, a little confused, a little hurt, or a little ashamed; speak the words you want to say to God. Open up your mouth and pray. I can promise you there is a God out there who wants to speak back, just like He always has. He wants to meet you in the cracked and broken spaces of your life. He wants to shine His light in and through, in between, and all around the gaps, crevices and fissures. Let Him hear your words, even if they are hard to say. Let Him glorify Himself through your weakness.
"Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." [Psalm 33:9]
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." [Psalm 34:4]