We may not have the physical presence of our Bridegroom in the way the disciples did, but the Bridegroom is very much with us, in the Eucharist and in His dwelling within the heart of our hearts.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the desert, and speak tenderly to her heart. – Hosea 2:14
I have never been to an actual desert and yet I do not need to use my imagination to visualize this verse from Hosea. There are physical, geographical deserts and there are spiritual deserts. Christ the Bridegroom is our Living Water so any place, even our own hearts, devoid of His Presence is a barren desert.
My Egypt and my desert was my 29 year marriage; a land barren of love and devoid of any shade from the scorching sun of another’s wounds and brokenness. What thirsting I endured! Such a thirsting and searching for even just a dew drop of compassion.
Four years ago, God asked me if I was willing to trust Him to lead me out of Egypt even though the journey to the land flowing with milk and honey would take us through another desert, the desert of divorce. I had adapted to life in the desert and God knew He needed to not only lead me gently and slowly out of the desert but He also needed to shake the desert out of me. With fear and trembling, I gave Him my hand and said, “Yes. Lead me to the Living Water.” He so tenderly received my hand and placed it in the hands of His Son, Christ the Bridegroom. I did not recognize my Lord as my Bridegroom four years ago but as He spoke tenderly to my heart on our journey across this new desert terrain He lifted the veil over my heart and revealed Himself to me.
The journey through the desert of divorce was long, three years long, and dangerous, and exhausting but the Bridegroom never left me to perish from dehydration. He sustained me with His Living Water. He is a gentle and wise Lord and knows my heart in all its depths and shadows.
Just as heavy rain on dry land runs off or evaporates before the thirsty ground can absorb it, a parched and scorched heart cannot take in a torrent of Love. And so my Gentle Bridegroom came at first as the dew fall – imperceptible, gentle, and silent. He soothed my thirsty heart just enough to sustain me and create a longing for more… more of His refreshment. As I recognized that what I thirsted for, what refreshed my weary heart, and what alone would keep me alive in the desert, was Christ and only Christ, I prayed, sobbed, and begged for more of His Living Water.
And always He was there, waiting, to pour Himself upon me. My Bridegroom, and He alone, knows the needs of my heart and so He provided water in the desert as the dew fall, the slow steady rain, the short burst of a summer storm, the misty fog of early morning, the heavy downfall… And when what I needed was a time of clouds with no rain so that my heart might deeply soak in and absorb the puddles of His Love, He stopped the rain for just long enough.
Jesus led me out of my Egypt and with every step, every touch of His feet upon the sand of my desert heart, a stream of Living Water appeared and life blossomed.
If you are thirsting in your own desert or your heart is a desert barren of hope, Christ your Bridegroom is calling to you…
“I am with you here in this place of dryness and thirsting. Reach for Me, call out to Me, open yourself to Me. I desire to fill you with Living Water, to quench your thirst, and to love you into full bloom.”
Prayer: Yes, Jesus, my Bridegroom! I open my desert heart to You. Please rain Your Living Water onto the dry sand and let life blossom within me. May I bloom into the beautiful desert flower You see in me. As Your Life-giving Water quenches my thirst may I love others from the overflow so that more and more desert hearts will come alive and blossom. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen
Please join us on October 4th and 5th in Haverford, PA for a time of soaking in His Living Water at our Hope Blooms healing retreat. Learn more here