Pressing on Through the Desert
Perseverance is a critical Christian value. We are reminded by Paul to persevere through the difficult times of our life when we face illness, brokenness and adversity of any sort. Paul reminds us of the powerful words of grace that inspire strength in tribulation. I've been thinking about perseverance in relation to the spiritual journey and realizing the importance of
I'm writing this posting from a mountaintop in Joshua Tree National Park. I have a beautiful view toward the community of Twentynine Palms, CA and the pristine desert valley that stretches toward the horizon before me. It is a gorgeous day and I see this as a moment of grace.
It was no easy task to get here. It required hiking through sandy washes, over rock strewn hillsides and up countless hillside switchbacks. In 90+ degree heat it was a chore to get here. All along the trail I continued to meditate on Paul's encouragement to the church to press ahead, to strain forward to knowing Christ more completely. I felt those words as encouragement on the trail. This is the first time I've ever hiked this trail, so I didn't know where I would end up, but I had the expectation that it would be excellent and that the destination would make the strain of the journey worthwhile.
Pressing ahead, straining toward the prize of knowing Christ more completely, even through the desert, is a vital practice in the spiritual life. The desert has a life and vitality of its own. Perhaps it is more barren than we might be comfortable with, but if we are willing to look beyond the surface of the seemingly barren places on our journey, we will find life and grace in unexpected places. While trekking through the arid and desert regions of my life isn't a trip I'd want to take with great frequency, I suppose God is showing me that the desert is not something to be feared or disdained.