The Barren Place
Sometimes we sit in cold places that are dark, harsh, and painful. It's where the wind steals the breaths we try to take, the heart is frozen, and it seems impossible for anything to grow. Sometimes we are there without anyone else knowing. Maybe we're too proud to tell or maybe it is something we can't share without affecting others involved. Perhaps we can't even see it for ourselves in the moment. But for the times when other people do know, it's fascinating to watch how visitors enter.
Sometimes they come armed with words or Bible verses that, though true, sting in the timing. Sometimes they come with solutions to fix wreckage that seems beyond repair.
But I find those who stay the longest are the ones that simply come to give their presence. They are the ones who aren't just dropping by, but are prepared to camp in the arctic beside you for as long as it takes. They are there not just as a witness to ugly tears, but to cry with you. They look toward the sun's rays with you before the clouds conceal again. There is no retreat. Instead, they help construct a shelter. They work to make and maintain the fire that is just big enough to keep you warm. They supply the nutrients you need to survive in that day because you can't look at tomorrow yet. They're the ones who are a physical reminder of the Father who has not abandoned you.
If you are in a barren place today, know that I have been there too. I am familiar with how harsh it is and how lonely it can feel. I'm praying that our God, who sees you and cares, will assure you of his Presence. I'm praying that, if it's what you need to do, He will give you the courage to reach a hand towards someone in a cry for help. I'm praying that He will send one person to join you.
It feels like it right now, but you won't be in the barren place forever. One day you will start to notice the ice thawing. You will see that shoot of green that promises newness. You will feel the warmth of being bathed in full sun again.
But, on this day, someone is praying for you.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters... Hebews 13:1