MY 40 DAYS IN THE DESERT
By nature I’m an optimist, the “my cup is half full” type. I assist this natural character trait by avoiding stuff that could burst my bubble, ripple my pond, darken my skies, ruffle my fur, give me a headache and so on and so forth.
Life has taught me how to bounce back fast if I catch myself holding a half empty cup. I know all the ways and means on how to return to my Mary Poppins persona.
Thus, it came as an extremely unpleasant shock when my cup started draining till only the dregs remained, a few sad coffee grounds settling on the bottom.
I tried everything in my power to fill that cup back up.
I counted my blessings. Over and over. I made a list, mentally, then physically;
I prayed and meditated (my version thereof…);
I went for long walks with the dogs;
I made sure I was getting enough sleep (very important);
I ate right (thanks to the captain);
I painstakingly avoided anything that could drag me even lower through the dregs and grounds at the bottom of the now practically empty cup;
No T.V., no radio, no newspapers.
And still and still…..
I know I have a lifestyle people would kill for, living most of the year on a boat, but I missed my home in Florida so much. I wanted the big open spaces; my “happy” chair where I sit mornings, overlooking the canal; my study with all my “stuff” overlooking another canal; my afternoon “happy” chair looking out at my waterfall pond and palm tree; my bedroom where, when I wake I overlook water and probably a squirrel or an egret out on the grass.
I missed my walks next to the ICW, the routine of daily life, my church, my neighbors.
It got worse. I missed my daughter, gone for fourteen years.
I finally realized that fighting this misery only made me more miserable. I was being tested. How I behaved and acted at this time was a measure of my worth as a Christian.
Still doing all the good stuff as listed before, I hunkered down and waited it out.
Forty days, it took forty days. And then, one morning, all was well. Life was good. The dry spell was over, the rain had come.
To quote my beloved Oswald Chambers,
“If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your true inner nature – that is where the problem is.”
I don’t doubt another forty days will creep up on me some time. Why not? Whyme? Why not me?
And I will wait it out again.
1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you as though something strange were happening to you.”
1 Peter 4:10-11. “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, support, strengthen and establish you. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”