The Holiest Ground

I want to write an amazing blog post.

I want to write a post that will move you to tears or stir you with conviction. A post with witty stories of cute child-sayings and refreshing words of hope. A post that you will admire and appreciate. But the ink runs dry.

Sometimes we’re in a desert land and we don’t know why. A season of drought when we keep trying to plant new seeds but nothing seems to grow. We’re still doing all the “right” things but they don’t seem to have the same impact. Prayers bounce off the ceiling, bible verses fall flat, and fear can creep in.

I’ve spent much of my life teaching or mentoring college students, so I’ve seen first hand the fear that often comes along with a dry season. They wonder if they’ve done something wrong and if it will always be like this. But one of the benefits of being almost twice their age (yikes), is that the dry seasons don’t usher in the fear that they once did. Because I’ve been through many dry seasons before and I know they will come and go. More importantly, I know it is often during the dry spells that God is doing a work so deep that we can’t see it yet.

One of my favorite bible passages occurs in Exodus, when Moses asks God to show him His glory. And God tells Moses, “When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back” (Exodus 33:22-23). A couple of years ago, I saw this passage in a whole new light when I read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. She spelled out a connection I had never made before: It is in the dark that God is passing by. It is in the dark that God is closest. Dark is the holiest ground.

I think dry seasons are much the same way. It is only in the looking back that we can see God’s nearness. That His hand was covering us while we waited in the dark. And so I wait, knowing that some day soon, God will remove His hand and I will see His back. And I will know He was there the whole time.

One thought on “The Holiest Ground

  1. I felt such excitement rise when you referenced Exodus 33:22-23. I’m not in a dry place at the moment, but I know them well, too. There’s a small verse in the compline of Phyllis Tickles’ “Divine Hours” that I keep in my heart’s pocket for such times:
    “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of your eye; Hide me under the shadow of your wings.”

    Oh, how I love to be hidden in Him.

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