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“When all of our idols are taken away, all our securities and defense mechanisms, we find out who we really are.  We’re so little, so poor, so empty — sometimes, even so ugly.”  Richard Rohr from The Great Themes of Scripture.

The friar is talking about what happened to the Hebrews once they departed Egypt unified and apparently strong in their quest for deliverance into freedom!  The wilderness (the place where no one sees you spin to earn your spiritual legitimacy) only echos the sounds that we make, but no one else hears it.  There is a sound there that constantly washes you in white-noise.  It numbs until you hear nothing but your own heartbeat.  You won’t notice it with only a short visit.  A vacation, a day trip, a frolic only allows for you to see beauty of what you can only process in your shallowness.  It takes years for the desert to do it’s work on you.  For Israel, the number was close to 40.  The temptation is to take yourself out of the heat and barrenness.  Nothing creates a thirst for simple fruitfulness, like the endless cravings of barrenness.  That is when we begin to see what is on the inside of “me”.  The stripping has begun, the fig leaf has fallen and the real begins to creep out from behind all our grand illusions and empty projections.

This isn’t theory to me.  It feels like a lifetime ago, but I’ve lived in the wilderness.  It was necessary and I will be forever grateful for His process in my life.  He knew the preparation that I needed for the next step of the journey.  Sometimes being stripped in the desert feels like abandonment or divine neglect.  It’s not.  It’s on purpose.  But, you’ll have to forge your mind against the devil’s attempt to bait you with self-pity and rescue.  There are whispers from the throne that you’ll never hear until you can still your heart and mind in the solitude of wilderness.  There is a promised land, but will you allow the desert to do its work so you can really see it?

This is not a broad stroke that applies to everyone.  It could be, but not all are willing to risk this kind of helpless vulnerability.  I know me and I would have never voluntarily enlisted.  I was drafted for the desert.  I could have never imagined the ways the He would reveal himself.  There was some green in the cracks and moisture in the clay.  He was there all along.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Cristianna
    February 20, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Love this! Love you:)

  2. February 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I love this post. It is encouraging for me right now in this moment. I am thankful you were prompted to write it. Hug Patti for me. I love you guys.


  3. February 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

    HE is incredible, beautiful words, great message, i need to get reaffirmed in it for sure – XOX

  4. Veronica Harvey
    February 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    love this, Mike. Thanks for sharing; I love you guys!

  5. nancy zins
    February 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Wow, this post was very well said I loved it!!! You painted the picture perfectly!!!

  6. February 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Awesome! I want the wilderness….I don’t know where it is or how to find it.

  7. February 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    This pretty much got my spirit churning, Papa Mike. Thank you. Love you!

  8. Bill Swan
    February 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Good stuff Mike. I’m not willing to ask for the wilderness right now, that’s for sure.

  9. February 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    lets talk again soon. this is a good word and a good timing. lots brewing in the brown tribe.

  10. Brian
    February 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    This was comforting to read. Felt like you were here reading it to me!!!! Miss you and love you!!!!

  11. February 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you for this! It’s a breath of fresh air and a cool breeze as I sit and wait in the wilderness. The promised land is so close…I can feel it : ) I love you!!! xoxo

  12. February 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    love this! we should talk again sometime. I had another dream last night.

  13. Jeff McLeod
    February 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Spot on, Paschall

  14. jory
    February 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Oh yeah……desert walks!! Good word!

  15. paul allison
    February 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Another nugget well delivered!

  16. Vanessa
    March 20, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Word! Thanks Mike! 🙂

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