Desert Song

One of the things that I have appreciated more and more as the years have gone by is that life has seasons.  The Christian life has seasons as well.  Even though it is 4 years old recently I have been listening to “The Desert Song”.  It’s a Hillsong tune which my church had on high rotation when it came out.  These are the lyrics of the 4 verses:

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favour and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

I find myself being moved during the last verse about the harvest.  Intuitively I feel drawn to that verse at the moment.  It just seems that is the season I am in now – I am established in my career (I am in my fifth year as a barrister), my little girl is now at school and parenting is a whole lot easier than it was with a newborn or with a toddler.  But more than that I feel that I have reached a place in my walk with God where I have accumulated some wisdom, some understanding of what my gifts are, what my calling is, and where the Lord is heading me.

I can’t really put my finger on it with any precision, but right now I feel His favour.  I feel that I am being filled, and I know that the purpose of that filling is to be emptied again.  I know that a season of being emptied is coming and frankly I can’t wait.  Because that is what I was created to do.  Paul says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10)  There is nothing to be gained from being filled and never being emptied.

It reminds me of the illustration of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.  Normally I am pretty sceptical about making analogies like this but I really think that this is a point that God wanted to make.  The Sea of Galilee is full of life.  In the bible Peter, Andrew, James and John made their living from fishing in this sea (although lake would be a better description).  The Sea of Galilee has an entry point where the Jordan River comes in, and an exit where the Jordan flows out.  Just 70 odd kilometres further south the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea, but nothing flows out of the Dead Sea.  As the name suggests the Dead Sea is an ecological wasteland – the salt makes it completely inhospitable to fish.

The point is that when we are both receiving and giving out we are healthy.  But when we receive but don’t give there is no life at all.  I want to be healthy, and right now I’m being filled to be emptied again.  But without the emptying to come I will get sick and spiritually unwell.  I can receive, but only if I then give away what I have received.  The seasons of harvest are to enable us to be fruitful in service.  It’s amazing how just 8 words, “I know I’m filled to be emptied again” captures this so perfectly.

This is how the song ends, and I can’t find a more fitting way to finish:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Go here to sing along.

John

One Comment to “Desert Song”

  1. Good analogy and I agree a great way to finish!!!!!!!! 🙂

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