BY JESSICA LANDMON
I just returned from a week-long trip to the Holy Land. This was not my first time visiting Israel. My parents took me there when I was fourteen years old. But being older and having a deeper walk with the Lord, I started the trip excited to see how much more the Word of God would come alive to me.
We visited so many holy places. We walked where Jesus walked. We saw the cities where He performed the most amazing miracles. I even preached where Jesus preached. All life-changing! But ironically, the site that had the biggest impact on me was the nature reserve in Ein Gedi.
For those of you who don’t know, Ein Gedi is an oasis right on the edge of the Judean Wilderness near the Dead Sea. This location is mentioned many times in the Old Testament, but most of us recognize it as the place David hid while fleeing from King Saul.
While we were there, temperatures were near 120 degrees! Saying it was hot is obviously an understatement. It was so hot, I contemplated not hiking into the reserve and just admiring it from afar. However, I am so thankful I didn’t let my temporary discomfort dissuade me because after a short walk, I was rewarded with a gorgeous waterfall and a pool of water to cool off in. What I didn’t realize is that two rivers flow right through this place, making it a lush, refreshing spot right in the middle of the desert.
I know this all sounds just like a lovely tourist spot, but what was so spiritual about this? Why did this location come alive to me? You see, the Lord really spoke to me right in that place showing me how the Christian life should mirror this oasis. All around us are desert-like conditions. We are often surrounded by chaos, violence, anxiety, and depression. We work in environments that suck the life right out of us. There is barrenness and extreme heat on all sides. And yet, just like this oasis, we are meant to flourish and thrive. We are still called to bear fruit.
It blew me away to see how land enduring such extreme, scorching temperatures could flourish so much. This is proof that God can make us bloom no matter what situation we are placed in. He will provide refreshing rivers to sustain us. If we put our trust in the Lord, He can provide an oasis from the rest of the world so that we can continue grow in Him even in the middle of a desert place.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. – Jeremiah 31:25