Discovering a Fountain of Love in the Desert dougfloyd - 4/9/2005 Desert winds spread the blinding showers of sand, and

bury me in burning blackness. Hot, dry air smothers my lungs as I choke down another moment of stark existence. Stripping away the facades of luxury, harsh landscapes reveal what will stand and what will fall. The mountains that seemed invincible now topple, crumble and drift into an ocean of chaos. The stable world I thought existed never really did. All that I trusted is consumed in the endless sinking, shifting ground. In the landscape of the soul, I’ve tasted the sweet death of desert life: again and again. The desert reminds me that man does not life by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Like a crying baby or a thirsty drunk, I suck the stone for one more drop of living water. Radical trust in the goodness of God is my only hope. But whose god? Everyone has a god and probably several. Whom or what do I trust? Politicians? As G.K. Chesterton once noted, “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” Reporters? Everyday the spin changes with the wind—and the ratings. The latest preacher or guru selling tapes, books, new and better techniques, secret principles, or magic oil from their holy land? Some days it seems as though everyone is selling somebody something. Including myself. We’re all con-men try to convince ourselves and others that we are better than we are, smarter than we are, and deserve more than we have. The merciful desert reveals our gods for what they are: hot air. Into this barren world, love shines. Jesus reveals God—not as a door-to-door salesman pitching one more life changing aid with slick slogans—but rather a community of love. He makes the stunning suggestion that in the heart of the Creator is an unending flow of love. This personal, all-encompassing love embraces this world and all its pain. Jesus comes to reveal God in our midst and takes our pain and our suffering and our agony onto and into himself. In the anguish of Calvary, he bears the breach of an aching world. In his actions, he reveals the lovingkindness or hesed of God. Again and again and again he embraces the weak, the oppressed, the outsider, the despised, the failure, the faker, the liar, the cheat, the broken. In the desert, I realize my weakness: I face the hidden failure lurking in the shadows. The desert shines light into that abyss of my heart revealing a desperate darkness. Others might confidently trumpet their own perfected selves, but I cannot deny the dark struggles of a soul sometimes light and sometimes dark, longing for love but prone to hate. In the desert, I cling to the only thing that is real: the lovingkindness of God. My only hope is the love of a Creator that sustains all things by His word. Radical trust in His mercy, empowers me to let go of the sloganeering, the salesmanship, the need to protect my turf or my reputation, the desire to accumulate, the insatiable drive for more and more pleasure. Radical trust allows me to simply let go.

In the wind of His love, I let go. I let go of failure and success. I let go of praising and cursing. I let go and rest. And dance. And play. And embrace.