I love the desert. It’s my favorite place in the world. I don’t know exactly what it is about it that draws my heart so, but it draw my heart it does. Its why I named my blog In the Desert with Jesus. And actually, I know exactly why it draws my heart with such ebbing relentlessness over the years. It’s because of Ecclesiastes 3:11,
“He has also set eternity in the human heart.”
God sets out to woo his beloved in this world. A world where we are “foreigners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11). Exiled from a land which this world images only faintly. It images a world to come, one from where God sends love letters to our hearts, scents on the air to remind of us of our true home with him and that this world is barren for the fulfillment of our deepest desires.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
“They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.” Hebrews 8:5
Sometimes on my lunch breaks I like to get on the interstate and drive west. I go to a Starbucks that is about the limit to where I can go on my lunch break and not be late back to work. I get some coffee (or earl grey tea; today I tried out their new Cascara Latte – not too bad!) and I breathe. I breathe in the air, the western horizon where the unending blue sky hits the great plains. I feel like I am watching a movie about somewhere that I deeply want to go. I stand up in front of the TV and it’s right there, right in front of me. But not really, because on the other side it’s just wires and electronics. Same here. The desert might be hours down the road if I hopped in my car and just kept going west, but even when I get there, I’m not really there. I know this, because I have been to the desert, to New Mexico, many, many times. And while it’s beautiful and reminds me of home, it doesn’t satisfy the ache. It doesn’t do it! I don’t think I could ever move there because it would not satisfy the longing of my heart.
No, the longing for the desert is a longing for home. For Jesus where he is waiting on me at our home. The one in John 14:2 where he said he was going to prepare a place for me, and you, my brother and sister in Christ. That’s what I’m longing for, that’s what God is wooing me home to. Oh the ache runs deep, especially today as I’m back from my expedition. An exile at work for the Kingdom in a barren world, where lost souls longing for a home and God they do not know cry out for help, where we must approach them in love and compassion and wisdom.
What place has God put in your heart to woo you home to him?