I have been pondering much in recent days. I think that first steps in the desert is maybe one of the worst, most challenging part of the journey, because it is new and unfamiliar. Being in the desert at night, hearing the rustle of an ibex in the acacia trees, or the sound of hyenas in the distance and feeling vulnerable is a scary experience. That is when your imagination works overtime, and you can fear the worst.
Dealing with new situations generally can be like this. There is a deluge of new facts and information to deal with, and we have to reorient ourselves. It takes a lot of energy and focus. In times of transition in our lives, when things are changing on different fronts simultaneously, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
In the darkness in the desert, the most innocent of sounds can be built up in our imagination. We can become paralysed with fear, pumped full of adrenaline, hyper aroused, waiting for the next noise, working out if it is near or far, and what kind of threat it might pose.
In these times of disorientation and fear, we remember that God is with us. In psalm 3 verses 3 and 5, ( NLT translation) it says; ‘But You O Lord, are a Shield around me, you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. …………… I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.’
In the night, when we cannot sleep, and our thoughts run riot, we remember that God is our Shield and Protector, that he keeps us safe from the predators of darkness. And in the light of morning, we see things more clearly, our fears diminish, and our trust in our Faithful God is renewed. May we pray.
Gracious God, sometimes we fear the terrors of the night, and we need to be reminded that You shelter us under the protection of your wings, and that You keep us safe. Lord Jesus forgive us that we so quickly become worried and fearful. Help us to remember the words of psalm 91, that you will protect those who trust in You. Help us not to focus on the scary sounds of the night, but on Your faithful promises. In times of change and challenge, may your holy spirit help us to take a breath, to refocus on your love and truth, and then to confidently take the next step in our journey. For Jesus sake, Amen