And so John came, baptizing in the desert region .... (Mark 1:4)
Interesting. John did not come into their places of bounty, into the settled regions of their lives. Into the place their hearts called home. He baptized in the desert regions ... in those places of want, of need, of recognition.
I wonder ... can we really recognize need for the LORD anywhere else? Is it not here that we reach toward, cry out for redemption? Not in plenty. We don't look for God, in plenty.
It is the desert places, of the heart, of the soul, of circumstances ... when our desperate straits finally open our eyes to our need for something outside ourselves.
And though John called, like Moses, the people had to turn from their own path, their own way, and come out to him ... seeking after his message. A message to repent, to take off your shoes for you are standing on holy ground. Once we recognize the presence of holiness, we can't help but recognize our own uncleanness, our own need of repentance, for being washed clean, our own need to be immersed in the purifying grace of another.
We find Hope in the desert, in the utter absence of our own provision and adequacy. It is here we really confront God. Abram may have heard God's call in Ur, but it was a call to come out of self-sufficiency in order to dwell in utter dependency. A call to leave resting in the works of man's hands, and come forth to know the unceasingly faithful touch of His own.
It was in the desert Abram really came to know God, where Moses really came to see the Almighty. In the place where we can look to self, God remains barely visible. Not because He isn't there, but all the false light, all the shadow life we cling to paints reality over with mirage, and we loose sight of truth.
Lord, is it that You know my weakness You keep me in the desert? Not a place of less, but more, if more I'll let it be. Is it that You know it's here I'll find You, here I'll take Your hand and really learn the songs of praise? If desert be the place of calling, then may I, Lord, rest here, in Thee.