This was written at a time when we lived in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey to the city of God must pass.
This writing was also prophetic of events that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct. 9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in the Way of Life.
The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and thirsty;
We two have been matched as partners in this stretch of our history.
The sun’s scorching face is forceful enough; from it I can find no escape,
No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my soul in its wearisome journey.
Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know where it began…
It started with greenery, then greenery and sand, and now it is sand upon sand.
Yet after some miles I’ve trodden and feel I can go no farther,
A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined for that very hour.
With leanness of soul and hungering for life, not a soul for months have I seen,
And all my possessions have slowly been lost, ’til much lighter my journey has been.
It’s strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter the life becomes;
The easier the life filled with comforts, the more ensnared in this wild.
Many storms form on the horizon, threatening I know not what,
And only the odd one materializes to give me the wisdom I’ve sought.
With serpents quite often threatening my life, and insects disturbing my peace,
I travel over jagged and treacherous rocks and long from this desert, release.
Many mirages have promised me life and so fair they are at a distance,
But somehow I’m learning the difference between what appears to be real and what is.
I cannot tell how much longer my wilderness journey will be;
I know only this: that I cannot turn back, not while I have yet to be free.
Methinks I have seen circling above, those wretched birds of prey,
Who hover and wait so endlessly, for their opportune day.
But I believe in the One Who has promised to keep me until that day,
And when it comes, it’ll be by His choosing, and with Him I’ll arrive to stay.
Israel, Sept. 79