Wednesday, November 9, 2011


You know what I'm talking about.

THOSE places.

Sometimes it hits us emotionally, sometimes physically, sometimes mentally(OK, in my case, OFTEN mentally…)

Times when we just feel dried up.

When our feelings are numb, when our bodies are weary, when thoughts and words don't come easily.

As a writer, it can be quite devastating.

I read a blog last week about this very thing (Elaine at Peace For the Journey). Oh, how I identified with her heartfelt words. But, we all know that empty feeling when life seems to come to a screeching halt. When mountaintop moments come crashing back to earth. When our soaring faith hits a downdraft. When the cool and refreshing waters that flowed in us and through us and all around us, suddenly dry up.

On my travels, I've seen canyons that were carved by mighty waters. Carved by great rivers that plunged through the surrounding countryside, moving boulders and trees and many tons of dirt – rivers that changed the landscape. Powerful waters that made something big happen.

I've seen the evidence that the waters were once there.

But now those canyons are dry and dusty.

So, just like in life, I am left with this question – Where did the water go???

Sometimes I think God allows us to feel "dried up" once in awhile so we take the time to rest physically. I've been fighting some sort of respiratory thing this week – not sick enough to stay in bed, but not good enough to be out and about. I'm sorta enjoying the time to slow down – to give myself an excuse just to read and lay on the couch. I know that God is near, and I have a feeling that big things are on the horizon but for now, a "dry place" is just what the doctor ordered, I think.

And that's OK – this is a sort of restful dry place, if you know what I mean. There's peace in taking some time off from life.

It's the *other* dry place that isn't so good…

Dryness is disturbing. It isn't comfortable. It's unsettling. We quite honestly want it to end. We mourn the loss of full and joyous feelings. We yearn for strong and energetic bodies (younger bodies???). We hunger for quick and easy words, for thoughts that tumble out faster than we can think or write them.

We ache for the waters.

And so, I've been thinking about the waters – and about the dry places. Not really wanting to sound cliché about it all.

Just this morning, a new thought came to me – that there's a big difference between being "dried up" and being "used up."

Fortunately, with God I am never used up. As long as I turn my heart completely over to Him, and keep my eyes firmly focused on Him, He can use me. Now, the greater challenge is knowing that when I'm dried up – there is also purpose in that.

We're not alone, you know.

Look at how many of His followers – Moses and Jesus, just to name two – were prepared for the Lord's work by FIRST visiting the wilderness.

I think it has something to do with the solitude and the stillness. In the dry places of life, we are quiet enough to hear the Lord speak.

But there is also a promise in the dry places. And that is the promise of life.

Beautiful lifeeven though it might be *camouflaged* a bit. I've done a bit of research on cacti (trust the English major – it isn't cactuses). They are amazing plants. But one thing really stood out to me about how they survive in the desert.

"They may not get much moisture where they live, but they manage to make the most of what they do get."

I don't know about you – but I just loved that!

Cacti survive, and they actually thrive, because of their taproots roots that find and store water. Roots that connect to groundwater(groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations).

"The Hub" and I have often visited Joshua Tree National Park – and I have found an austere beauty in the desert. And I truly believe that there are many lessons to be learned in the "dry places" – things of beauty that God can only reveal when our spirits are longing for Him. Special revelations that can only come – not when we're just thirstybut when we are parched.

So, I'm asking myself today…

Do I have enough faith to abide quietly in the dry places?

Am I willing to find meaning in the solitude?

Can I trust that God has a purpose when the waters dry up?

It's a matter of taproots, I think.

Taproots that connect firmly to the groundwater of Living Water. Roots that actively search for God in the "soil pore spaces" and in the "fractures of rock formations." Roots that seek Himthat finger out into the empty places, and know that He is there.

He promises He will meet us.

"But from there you will search…for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him." (Deuteronomy 4:29)

"'If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,' says the LORD." (Jeremiah 29:13, 14)

"Keep on seeking, and you will find…Everyone who seeks, finds."
(Matthew 7:7, 8)

Will I choose to believe that there is life in the dry places?

Will you?

Trust me, cactus flowers do indeed bloom in the desert!

Are you in a dry place? How can you tap into the Living Water?

(SIDENOTE:) "The Hub" shares this quotation from "On Desert Trails" by Randall Henderson:

"The real desert is not for the eyes of the superficial observer or the fearful soul...It is a land which reveals its true character only to those who come with courage, tolerance, and understanding. For these, the desert holds rare gifts...each season sends forth blossoms of exquisite coloring as symbols of courage that triumphed over appalling those who come [to the desert] with courage, it gives new strength of character."

Thirsty? Join me at Joan's GRACE CAFE!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Yes and Amen..I think of the Israelites crossing the wilderness. That is where He provided the manna, the cloud in the day to protect from the heat, the pillar of fire to warm at night..yes there is life there and provision there in the desert.
    He prepares us Moses and He himself went into the desert.
    May I cherish the times in the desert.

  2. This desert dweller really loved this post, right on down to the Hub's contribution quote.

    My favorite part was the part about the cacti, and I was jazzed by the part about managing to make the most of what I do have.

    It was totally off the topic of dryness, but I have to share that what really settled in my heart was that it made me remember that our soldier who is currently living in the literal desert has long grown and been fascinated with cacti for years. I never in a million years thought about that connection and how God was preparing him all the while.

    As to my personal drought and current desert, I am committed after reading this to try harder to use what I do have.

  3. Blessings Sharon...just me popping in because I saw your comment over at Joan's WFW!

    I should have read about the "DRYNESS" you share but came straight to the comments. Got your response email to church... and communication.
    I hope to be back later after I go get something to eat and feed the crew.


  4. this is so rich and so true. i have found that
    as i get older, i can endure the desert times
    better, because i know there is something
    worse. the place i put myself when i sin.

  5. And if you were never dry - how would you know and appreciate wet? sandie

  6. I love how you pointed out that so many of God's followers – "Moses and Jesus, just to name two – were prepared for the Lord's work by FIRST visiting the wilderness." That is encouraging to remember. So, whenever I'm in the wilderness, I'll know that I'm being prepared for what is to come. I'm trusting God, knowing that there IS life in the dry places!

    Blessings, Joan

  7. me again... I'm back,

    First off, I'm sorry to hear you are fighting a respiratory problem but so glad that you are taking it easy, slowing down a bit and learning to rest in the dry. "Tis the season I do believe for respiratory ailments.

    Then, how wonderful to see a joint force (Hub's and you)with such great points about the desert, the wilderness.

    But mostly, once again, the picturesque way in which you write so vividly and your precious humor too! I love the way you paint a picture starting after Elaine's post. I cascaded through each paragraph as if I was along in a guided tour and could actually see and be impressed with your easel at hand. The spiritual connection you always make is what impresses me the most! And that I get it!

    I so agree with what you've written so eloquently and believe that there is a purpose and clearly a season, when the dryness is not only beneficial but needed to appreciate the moments of overflow and also to prepare us in the solitude. Like the cacti, we all can bloom where we are planted when our roots run deep. If God can create flowers to bloom on the cacti, how much more can He do in us, in our dry season, if we top moping and complaining and seize the season for what it offers us. You described the feelings quite well. I could so relate to those feelings... I've seen life come forth from those "dry" places. There is some comfort knowing God shared people in His love letter, even He Himself... to show us LIFE in the wilderness, even the wilderness of our hearts. This gives me hope for what is to come.

    I also believe that you added a new picture on the top of your right sidebar in addition to the warm fireplace! Love it! So while I fell at home here, I shan't cozy up by the fire, but the sweet invitation is hard to turn down... with its glow and warmth of the love I get over here.

    Beautiful Sharon! May God continue to meet you in every season and every climate and every adventure of your life so that others see how HE is revealed in all His glory and want s'more of what HE's pouring out...

    Many blessings and much love,

  8. 2 or more typos, but you can figure them out I hope. ["top" should be stop and fell - feel] Sorry, not to good of a typist minus a pointer finger... and glasses...

  9. I liked this Sharon, because I do often feel dry. But it is reassuring that the One who is the Living Water is with us even during the dry times of our lives! Hope you shake that respiratory thingy sooner than later!


  10. Hi Sharon: that respiratory thing is making its rounds here also. I've been fighting it for close to a week - not feeling bad, but not feeling good.

    Yes, I've had those dry places (and I agree that as a writer that is not a good thing.) I also think that He allows it in order that we will rest.

    Interesting story about the cacti (and yes they are found in some very barren places.)

    I also thought about this verse in Jeremiah: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
    (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

    We may sometimes feel dried up, but we aren't used up. Amen!


  11. I have been in "Dry" places in my life. I always think of the Lord's prayer. "He leadeth me by the still waters" and I feel closer to God. God bless you.

  12. Well, Sharon, you hit me where it hurts--in the dry place. Hope you are getting rest during this short break from "cascading thoughts" that you write so well.
    The desert is a dry and barren place, requiring courage and a different way of looking at it. I must admit that I have always run from the literal desert (except I've been stuck here in Arizona now for 17 years). The Mojave left me empty, alone and I wanted to escape whenever I had to pass through. Maybe that loneliness is meant to draw us closer to the Lord.
    Enjoyed Hubs added wisdom to your post.
    And, yes, in the dry land we have to send our roots down deeper.
    Thinking about all you had to say while I kick my toes in the sandy land.


  13. P.S. I like the fireplace. That's my idea of cozing up with the Lord.


  14. Burn out happens when we have been going full speed ahead and forget to put some coal into the steam engine. Maybe we need some FIRE as well as water. Lord send the refreshing Holy Spirit who is both fire and water. Fire for anointing and healing and water to cool our dry brow!

  15. I'm quietly reflecting on the questions you posed Sharon. Our roots makes all the difference.

  16. An awesome, fertile word for the soul! As I was reading this, I thought about those canyons carved through harshness. How now, we see them as beautiful, even though they might "feel" very dry. I think, perhaps, others can see the beauty in us even though we're feeling very thirsty and bothered by the heat. Thank you for seeing the beauty in me; I'm resting at the root of all kindness and sustenance today.


  17. Hi Sharon -

    Our Lord reminded me that in 1Kings 17:7 - KJV when the brook dried up, He had other resources. He told Elijah in verse 9, "...I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."

    I love the word "commanded" there.

    How glorious that GOD always provides...

  18. Hi Sharon,

    Get well soon, we are afflicted in this way too.

    Ah the dryness and the roots, yes much food for thought here. We have been thinking about roots at Longmeadow too, I am too tired tonight to be very coherent, so will close here. But I am on your wavelength.

    God Bless - Nita

  19. Stopping back by to say thanks for linking up today.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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