# Finding Streams in My Desert
#Gospel in Skin
Have you ever walked through a wilderness of your own making? It's dim, desolate, and dense with confusion. There is always a backstory, a basket of issues that led you to this turn, but it was you who walked in. The farther you walked in the deeper you were lost. Sometimes its your pride that led you here, sometimes its a cocktail of exhaustion, frustration, and hopelessness. Sometimes it's fear. It can be so many things and so many things all at once.
I have. At some point we all do in some shape or fashion. It can come in many forms. Sometimes we resist it. We do like Jesus did. We stand strong in the desert and then we get to leave.
But sometimes we falter and we do exactly what Satan wanted us to do and then we wander...
In the wilderness hopes die, dreams die, you start to die. Your life becomes small. The storm you felt prior to this is now only more complicated, more exhausting.
I have lived this experience at different seasons in different fashions and now recently most deeply. I failed the test and God allowed my wanderings.
But at a time of deepest despair God sent someone to show me a stream in the desert. An unexpected source. Basically she was the Good News, the Gospel in skin to me. I didn't ask for it she just gave it to me. She wrapped hope around me despite everything she knew. She met my transparency with honesty and the oasis promise of Good News. Even to me. Even here, even now.
She was the first. Because she had been like me before. She knew there was Good News for my thirsty soul because she had drank from those streams herself.
Whenever you go through a wilderness you are in it for a long haul. It's wide and vast. It's that shadowlands that seems to stretch out long before you and you keep thinking, "How much farther? How much more? Will this ever come to an end? What else do you want from me God? What else will you strip away?"
And He sends you more Good News wrapped in flesh. Who form the Gospel with their grace laden words, hold your hand as you walk the next leg, and help lift up your head because they too have drank deeply from the streams in the desert. They are the living good news to you.
The other day I finally took out pen and paper and thanked the first one who came with a cup brimming over with good news to me.
"You were the Gospel in person form to me. You have shown me such grace. I'll always be thankful.You have lifted my head. You gave me hope to hold onto."
There have been a whole group of them. Many people I would never have imagined. That's usually the way God works. He surprises us with His goodness. Perhaps wearing faces we hadn't expected.
I accept the Good News. The Gospel they've promised is real and alive to me now. Quite possibly more than it has ever been.
The Good News promises us something new. Us being made new. Despite this painful process I'm ready for that. At so many moments that I have felt the weakest, God has shown His strength to me.
No matter the expanse of the wilderness, the depth of the low Jesus is not done. He knows how to take my darkness and shine light into the heart of it and reclaim it for Himself. He knows how to "make all my deserts rivers of joy." He knows how to take the shame of the past and promise something New. And many times He sends those Good News messengers to us in the desert. Those people who have drunk deeply from His living water and now offer it to you.
Today this scripture played in my mind as I went through the day,
"Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert."
I know God is using my desert to create something in new in me. I can feel it, see it, and I am trying to accept it. I've wanted to run from it, but He won't let me. Because one day this won't be wasted and I'll be the Good News wrapping my arms around someone handing them Living Water. The best news is always this: that no matter who I have been or where I have been there is Jesus the Good News became flesh who offers me new life, new purpose, and ultimately a new me bathed in streams of mercy. Grace that can find me in the heart of my own dark desert wilderness and set me free by the giving of Himself. That is the best news and the only news that matters. It's the only news that makes me new.......I love Jesus more here. More than I ever have. I've seen Him show up for me here in the desert, turning all of my personal deserts into rivers of joy.