I love Wyoming, especially the area around Green River and Rock Springs. It is high desert, 6000 feet above sea level. It is dominated by wide expanses of sage brush and rock, as rough a terrain as any you find in the United States. It’s dry, dusty and windy… completely gray/brown for eleven months of the year. There are many miles of high desert that are uninhabited. Visitors are constantly warned not to venture off the road, in fact they advise never traveling without a provision of water, extra warm clothing and other survival supplies – even when you stay on the roadway. It is wise to heed the warning… cell phones are of no use across the Wyoming range.
Yet there is a beauty and majesty in the midst of this place. A marvelous herd of wild horses roam freely, their coats gleaming in the sun when you come upon them. Deer, antelope, elk and other animals find both water and sustenance on this seemingly barren terrain. They graze on the sage brush and shelter in the ravines and rocky cliffs beside towering buttes. In fact they not only survive… they thrive! No matter how inhospitable and lonely the Wyoming range may be… God’s creation is cared for.
All of us experience dry, windswept, lonely times in our life. As I pray for the women I personally share the Word with each day I am acutely aware that each one needs the living water and sustenance that can only be in Jesus Christ. Some are raising young children; some have an illness or injury that they struggle with across the terrain of their day; a few have suffered great loss recently; some are quiet, strong women who graze on God’s Word and seek to drink in His life giving presence so they can overflow into the lives of those around them; some are searching for a deeper, more meaningful, and more “real” relationship with Jesus as they are just starting out on their journey across the wilderness of life.
- One thing…
Although many things are needed to survive the high desert there is really only one thing that is absolutely crucial – water! Water is the vital necessity that, if you are caught, broke down on the range; your survival would depend on it. Jesus is that one thing in all our lives, He is our living water. First, it is necessary to surrender to Him as Lord; then we need complete dependence on Him and on His Word. All the tasks of the day; the difficulties in our relationships; the rough decisions; the feelings of inadequacy or rejection – they all expend tremendous energy and require sustenance. Have you sat and drank deeply of God’s Word before venturing out and tucked a verse in your pocket to drink from all day long?
- Beauty in the wilderness
God takes the harsh, rocky and windswept days of our lives and causes them to blossom. There is nothing more beautiful than an ocean of sage brush in bloom! It is purple across the range with a sharp, poignant smell. Steve and I once came upon a magnificent stallion standing at the ridge of a huge valley… ears perked and muscles tense and rippled beneath his gleaming coat. Possibly the perfect mount for Jesus when He returns. My heart pounds with anticipation at the thought of that day. So too, God gives us beauty in the midst of our struggles. Jesus gives us strength and fortitude when we have none. He sends the love and comfort of friends when we are weakest, ripples of laughter to sustain our joy, peace and quiet that can only be found in the wilderness. Do you see the beauty of the Lord today?
- High upon a rock
To live at a higher elevation means to live in rougher terrain. It also means to experience the awesome power of God to carry us through the wilderness and shelter us from harm. Along the sides of ravines all across the Wyoming high desert are outcroppings of rock… towering hundreds of feet above the valleys below. Once, when my son Jack was visiting us in Wyoming we stopped our truck atop White Mountain to see the view of Green River far below. Jack decided to climb one of these outcroppings. I could barely watch… he says it was the scariest thing he ever did in his life… also the most magnificent. I thank the Lord for his safety that day! But with Jesus we can dwell… that means we live each day… atop just such an outcropping. We can live high above the valley… and it is the safest place in the world. Jesus is the rock we can depend on; drink from; rest in His shelter.
Psalm 27:4-5 NIV
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
What an awesome picture of what it means to life in the presence of God through Jesus. Have you allowed Him to take you out of the valley and set you high upon His rock?
Father God I ask that I may dwell in your house, in your presence today and everyday. I will seek you with all my heart… in all my decisions… for you wisdom and guidance… for all my needs. My heart pounds with the joy of living my life atop the rock that is your son Jesus. That He may be glorified in and through my life.
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