“The child [John the Baptist] grew up, healthy and spirited. He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic debut in Israel.” Luke 1:80
John the Baptist lived in the desert while preparing for his ministry. If you have not walked in the desert, you would have a difficult time understanding how someone could live for years in the barrenness. We know God would not have placed John in the desert without ways to maintain his body, mind, and soul.
When I moved to Arizona, I knew nothing about the desert. On my first solo outing, I failed to take enough water and experienced extreme thirst. Another time I took a leisurely walk down a dry gully and did a stare-down with a coyote. Recently while hiking, I had to be reminded to “look down at your path” because rattle snakes are still hanging out around warm rocks, and if they are coiled and rattling their tails, you might want to take a detour. I learned during my first day of hiking which cacti to stay clear of, especially Jumping Cholla, that don’t really jump, but manage to get thorns into the sole of your hiking boots.
Silence is my best friend while spending time in the desert– a great place to meditate and pray. It’s no wonder John made his home in the desert for many years.
Lord, thank you for the desert where one can find a different kind of peace. Amen.