Inspiration in the Judean Wilderness

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Is your story defined by what you have or by what you are deprived of?

Our trip to Israel taught us a lot about the geography of Israel. Abraham and his descendants struggled to enter and conquer this rocky, rough land. The teacher called it “the land between.” With only a few possible routes through the topography, the children of Israel contended with their enemies, the Philistines in the west, and a succession of powers from the north and south to control the best trade routes. The Rift Valley slashes the landscape from north to south and the Dead Sea sucks the life out of the Jordan River. It’s a difficult place to live and make a living. Time and again Israel and Judea jostle with each other, too.

But the most striking part of Israel to me is the Wilderness east of Jerusalem. What stories it could tell!  This is the place Jesus endured 40 days without food and water. This is where David grazed his flocks and also where he fled when King Saul sought to take his life. The area, bereft of all vegetation but scrub bushes and only seasonal water, is the perfect place to bare your soul. It lends itself to contemplation. When you are deprived of much, what is left can teach you lessons. You just need to listen. Do you listen to your life? Sometimes what you can’t have is what you desire most. A spouse, a loving father, good health. When you reach a desert place and listen, God will reveal his wisdom, offer his own presence, be your peace.

The wilderness inspired me to write the poem The Search posted next (above in this blog list).

© Beryl Carpenter 2013 - 2018