My tea is hot, steaming in the cup set on an old apple crate beside my armchair. Soft piano music drifts out of my kids’ room, where they’re cozy asleep in bunkbeds and a crib. Crickets are chirping outside, and the trees in the yard rustle in a breeze. The setting perfect, I open the laptop and stare at the screen, blank and bright. The cursor blinks as if expecting a next move, and I know I’m letting it down because I have no next move. I’m totally empty, utterly spent, not a word to be found in my brain or heart or fingers.
But the cursor doesn’t know that, and demands to march on. I half-heartedly clack away at the keys, flailing wildly for any thought that might make sense outside of my own head. I am sure none of them do. This heart that has always penned its feelings is dry, chalkboard dust all that remains of words. There’s been no great catastrophe, nothing life-altering to make my heart shrivel. I’m simply weary with the daily, the diapers and too-fast days and spilled juice, meetings and deadlines and full squares on the calendar.
There’s no room to just be, and I am drying up.
A desert season of the heart is scary to a writer, a leader, a mom, a friend. How am I supposed to teach my children, write blog posts, lead a devotion in my MOPS group, help a friend, if I am running on fumes myself? A re-fueling of my heart seems impossible because there’s no time to go sit in a quiet sanctuary, swing my feet off a dock at a lake, or bask in a field of wildflowers. A perfect setting is fleeting, and this is real life, people. Real life is messy and full of blinking cursors. Real life is loud, and sometimes I’m afraid that if I stop and be still, that underneath the chatter there won’t be anything worth saying.
I forget that He calls us to stillness, to a deep sense of calm. That He speaks most clearly when I am most quiet. That even in my desert, He sparkles.
When we are most dried up, He is able to do some of His finest work.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Those verses make me shiver with anticipation. Real life forces us to be still and know, despite the dusty way we may feel. Our hearts may be covered in a thick coating of dust. We may be scared – to speak, to write, to be still… We may not see the new works, the new pathways, the rivers flowing. We may see nothing but wasteland, from horizon to horizon of our lives.
But even then, He is at work creating.
In us and for us, He is working. And in spite of the blinking cursor and volume of our real life noise, we can be still and know that to be truth.
Tell me – in what ways is God creating new pathways in your life?
Do you see the ‘something new’ He is working on for you?