why do we need a desert experienceWhat is a desert experience?  Why do we need to undergo such a time of difficulty, suffering and emptiness before we could receive our true calling?

“I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert… There I will give her back her vineyards.” (Hosea 2:14-15, NIV)

Even Jesus needed a desert experience before He started out on His ministry, His true calling.  He needed the desert to give Him what a life of comfort and luxuries could never be able to give.

We need a desert experience:

  1. To empty ourselves of our false callings and dreams

A desert experience will test us, it will challenge our beliefs, our values, our dreams.

Imagine a true desert, arid as it is where almost no plant ever grows and few animals ever dare live.  It will not pay respect to all your trivialities.  It will lay bare your true substance.  It will remind you that you are naked, that you have brought nothing with you when you were born, and you will bring nothing back when you die.

In the face of death, what’s left to give importance to?  What really matters anyway?

Away from the desert, you may have fooled yourself into believing that there is no death, that you can squander your time with things that don’t really matter in the end.

The desert asks you, what is it that really matters most to you?  What is the meaning of your life?  If you are to die now, how will you sum up your life?  Was there any difference that you have lived at all?

Most people never come to the realization of their true calling because they haven’t allowed themselves to experience the desert, the emptiness that comes before being filled.

2.To feel what we need most aside from physical bread

In the midst of emptiness and thirst, we are faced with the question, does man live by bread alone?  If we do, then why aren’t we satisfied after merely eating just like the other animals?  Why is it that we desire something more?

What is it that we thirst for?  What is it that truly drives our lives?  Is it the thirst for more and more wealth and comfort?  Is it the thirst for power, to have control over other men?  Are we really going to be happy after we’ve attained such things?

3.  To receive our true calling as our first gift from God

It is only after being emptied that we may receive what God truly wants to give us.  It is only by first recognizing our true hunger that God may be able to give of His bread to satisfy us.

Our dream job, our true calling, is not only a mission God gives us to give to the world, it is first and foremost a gift to us. That is why our calling, our joy and our sorrow all melt into a single converging point.

Hence, if it is a thirst for a fatherly love that you feel, it is this same thirst that God will quench within you.  It is this same gift that God will give you.  Before He tells you to share the same gift with the whole world, He wants you to have it first, for it is your source of joy.

After you have known where your wounds are, God comes to heal you, and that healing balm is the gift you’ve been searching for.  It is first of all a gift for you, a gift you’d want to share to the world in order to fulfill your greatest dream.

What is the driving force behind everything that you do?  Is it fear?  Is it anger?  Is it greed?  Is it doubt?  My friend, there is only one thing that can ever make you happy, and that is LOVE.

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