This is Day 2 of 40 days of the allegorical devotional fiction, The Woman in the Wilderness.
The Ridge & the Dove
The sun rose high on its lofty peak, furiously blazing over the arid desert. She began to wonder how long she could possibly last without water.
She trudged upward along a sand hill. If she wasn’t so famished, she would have found it amusing that her mind was complaining about how heavy her empty pouch was as she dragged her weight upwards. Reaching the top of the small hill, her face fell at the sight before her. A sprawling mountain range revealed itself to her. How am I to get past this? She was confused. This range wasn’t there when she looked over the horizon, atop that hill where her journey began.
She clenched her jaw and grinded her teeth in frustration. What other surprises will this journey hold? Refusing, however, to give up, she continued walking. If there’s no way for me to get past the mountains, I could always turn back. The thought unsettled her. Something deep within her screamed against the idea of turning back, but she reasoned to herself that she was ill-equipped to do anything about the mountains unless He does something on her behalf.
Her helplessness without Him made her cringe. It was an idea she hadn’t yet resigned herself to.
Musing over her qualms, even as she dragged herself along the way, she reached the foot of the mountains an hour or two later. By that time, she was exhausted and parched from lack of water. She rested her back against the ridge. Now what? There’s nothing here. I should probably head back while I still can. I was probably just being foolish to think that I could survive this journey.
She slanted against the rock-solid wall behind her, sliding down and sitting on the sand, despondent. One thought was ringing on her mind: If I turn back, what am I returning to? I would rather die in search for Him than live forever apart from Him. I can’t turn back. There must be a way past this.
At that moment, an odd sight caught her eye. Fluttering wings carried a dove past her. Full of grace. Pure. Beautiful. Its whiteness was a stark contrast to the desert’s drab surroundings. It glimmered against the sun’s rays. She blinked her eyes several times to be certain that she wasn’t just seeing things. She smiled with relief. Though it was already quite a distance from her, the dove was indeed there. Her relief, however, was temporary, because to her dismay, it seemed the dove was about to fly right into the rocky mountain. She gasped, fully expecting the beautiful bird to crash into the mountain, only to find it simply disappearing from her view.
She creased her brows in confusion. Where did it go? She ran with excitement toward the direction that the dove went. Upon reaching the spot where it disappeared, a narrow valley in between two giant mountain ranges came into view.
A smile crept over her parched lips. She had a way through.
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)
When we make a conscious decision to follow hard after God, odds are we’re going to find obstacles along the way. As many saints that have gone before us have, we don’t turn back.
If Jesus is the heart, the soul, the ultimate quest of this journey that we’ve embarked on, then we can’t afford to give up. In those moments when we feel like we are facing insurmountable odds, that’s when we ask ourselves: Do I really want Him? Do I really want everything that He has for me – His heart, His mind, His smile?
If we can’t answer with a hearty, sincere “Yes,” that’s what the Holy Spirit is there for. He changes our focus, and becomes our Guide. He helps us keep our eyes on our destination: Jesus Himself. Despite the circumstances – the mountains – that surround us, when we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us, He will be faithful to open our eyes and show us the way to go.
Are you tired? Are you thirsty? Are your circumstances overwhelming you, and you can’t seem to see a way out? Don’t give up. Stop. Breathe. Rest. Refocus. Let the Holy Spirit show you The Way.