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Oh, how tiny is a mustard seed

Wednesday, May 12, 1999

John 16: 7, 12
Jesus says, "Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you...when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth."

In the darkness, in the silence of my own loneliness I cry out to God. The desert is an empty place. I have no strength to walk further. At the last the sun falls below the horizon. I am so thirsty. Animals begin to call out, tiny, distant, silhouetting my loneliness against the black sky.

Why did you leave me alone here in this awful place? I looked and looked for you, and you are gone. No voice, no presence, nobody, no peace. I have given up on finding you again. The space and sound of the desert have become my closest friends; I sit still in the darkness and weep, fainting and dying of thirst. Licking up my salty tears and curling up to watch the stars.

I don't know when the desert will take me, but I know it will. It has before, and it will again. Unless Jesus leaves, the Spirit will not come. Knowing this, I am determined to learn the lesson of waiting rather than giving up. But in the desert, despair is as close as the sweat on my forehead. It seems much closer than God.

Overwhelmed with despair, Elijah (1 Kings 19) only heard God when he was willing to put his ear to the ground, to wait for such a tiny whisper in his ear. Just a little breeze, the Spirit of God. My friend John Auten is considering what he calls seven spiritual laws; the first one is "Pay Attention." So while I wait for water to come, I will seek out the tiny breaths of air around me, and see what's There.

Unless you leave me, Lord, your spirit cannot come. Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief!

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