What God Would Say to the Woman Lost in the Wilderness of 2020


This morning I was reading my Bible. Sometimes when I’m reading the Word the passages will fly by as my eyes peruse them, soaking in the scriptural meaning, sure, but not speaking like a sword penetrating my soul. Does that make sense? What I mean is, sometimes I read the words, and while they’re good words, they read just like words. But other times, I read the words, and like living words they reach out and grab me by the neck, shaking me and saying, “listen to this, child.” I guess it’s like my kids. Sometimes they hear me. But other times, they really hear me!

Anyway, this morning I read a particular passage from Psalms. I like the Psalms, sure, but most of the time I’m just like, yeah, David, dude, that is so true. I prefer the words in red when I’m looking for some truth to shake me, but I’ve also noticed that God has spoken to me in the middle of one of the most seemingly boring books of the Bible (Numbers), so I know He can speak revelations through more than just Revelations. If you know what I mean. But back to Psalms.

Psalm 78:15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
and gave them water as abundant as the seas.

Talk about timely. If you’re not familiar, this Psalm is referencing a time in the past. The writer is remembering the goodness of God to supply His people, the Israelites, water to drink when they were traveling through the desert and dying of thirst. I mean, imagine the scene. Sun beating on your face, nothing but dry sand in sight. You cry out to your leader, “we’re thirsty, man. Our water bottles went dry miles back. I don’t see a rest stop anywhere close!”

They were in the desert, no water, no river, no oasis, no spring. Just rocks, sand, and a thirsty crowd. But God! He tells Moses to hit his staff on a rock, and to the surprise and delight of the group, water comes out. And not just a trickle, either. It flowed out like a rushing river, as abundant as an ocean.

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Y’all, I don’t know about you, but this year has been like a desert for me. Sure, I knew the God who parted the Red Sea, but I’ve felt lost in the wilderness of 2020. As a critical care nurse, watching large numbers of my patient population die of a virus we’re still learning about, it’s been hard. My job is to make people better, but that hasn’t come easy this year. It hasn’t hardly come at all.

And the relationships! I’ve suffered broken friendships, a broken heart, and a disillusioned mind. As an extremely sensitive soul, this year actually sent me into a dark depression, and while I don’t like admitting it, I spent almost two months laying solely in bed on my days off work. I lost weight, I lost sleep, and I almost lost hope. I reached out to family and friends for prayer when I realized how bad I was feeling, and I reached out to my doctor as well. I haven’t experienced a season of darkness like this in over twenty years. I thought my walk with Jesus was too mature to feel so helpless, but this year showed me that I need more of Him than ever before.

2020 has been my wilderness, and perhaps it’s been yours too. I just want to remind you of the things our Father can do. He can take a rock and wring it out like a sponge, so He can certainly rain His Spirit into our dry and cracked crevices. That is what I’m needing.

This morning I stood in the shower and I asked God if there was a single word He had for me for the New Year?

“Journey,” He said. “You may have stopped traveling, but you haven’t stopped going places with me.”

I told a friend earlier that my goal was to travel into the new year with as little weight as possible. No, I’m not talking about a diet resolution. I’m talking about the weight of this world that we often carry. When the Israelites were in the desert hungry, the Lord rained down manna. Bread from heaven. He gave them just enough for each day (excluding the extra the day before the Sabbath). If they tried to gather more and carry it to the next day, it rotted. That happens in our lives too. We aren’t meant to be self-reliant, but rather God-dependent. We cannot try to gather for ourselves the things He never intended, and the worries of yesterday will only fester as we carry them into tomorrow.

So, I lay down the weight of this past year, and I go forward into the new year with just enough for each day. My rock-splitting Father will provide the flow of living water I need as I journey further into His plan for my life.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.