Lost in the Desert

16 Nov

 I have a tendency to repeat myself. There are some memories I have that I enjoy sharing over and over, and Shady tries to gently tell me “Ah, Dina, I already know this story. You’ve shared it many times.”

Like the time I travelled to Europe with my good friends Sherien and Natalie. We lived on a diet of pizza and ice cream, and I still managed to lose five pounds. That’s a favourite of mine. Who else can boast of losing weight on a high fat, high carb, chocolate filled diet? I say that’s worth repetition on a weekly basis if you ask me.

My father also has a tendency of repeating his stories…but one in particular has been a family favourite for as long as I can remember. Since I was a young child he told us the story of the time he was lost in the desert. Growing up in Egypt, I guess it wasn’t uncommon to be near a desert to begin with, which of course gave the story special appeal to a young girl who’d never even seen one.  He told this story numerous times, so many times that eventually, when we had grown up, we jokingly banned him from repeating it to any of us. Once he would start with “Did I ever tell you about the time I was lost in the desert” we’d reach for our ears, laugh out loud and say “yes, yes, we’ve heard the story maaaaany times.”

When I introduced Shady to my parents, my father was very excited to have a fresh audience who had never yet heard the story. Shady was of course intrigued, someone lost in the desert, that sounds like it could be a great story. But my mother, my sister and I all refused. We hereby declared that my father was not to repeat the desert story. We’d heard it one too many times, we practically had it memorized, we wouldn’t sit through it again!

My poor father…It’s been six years since he’s met Shady, and he still hasn’t been able to share the desert story!

Now, I hesitate to share this because I know my father might read this. But can I be truly honest? I miss the desert story. In fact, truth be told, I can barely remember the details. Was he seven, or was he eight? How did he get to the desert in the first place? I know the story centred on his heroic use of the sun’s rays to find his way home…but I can’t remember how it all fits together. The story that had once been all  too familiar, and consequently abandoned for years, has now become unfamiliar, fragmented, distant.

Unfortunately, the same can be said for many of the stories that I grew up with from the Bible.

I’ve grown up listening to and reading many of the accounts that are captured in the pages of scripture. The time that Jesus walked on water, the return of the prodigal son, the parable of the sower, the the calling of the apostles. The list goes on and on of the stories that I grew up hearing. With time, I regret to say, I began to tune a few of these stories out. They were getting “too familiar”. I thought I knew them well enough. “I already know these stories,” I would say to myself. “They are too familiar. I’m ready for something more.”

And so, even now as an adult, many times I will skip over these stories when I am looking through the Bible. Out of sheer habit of telling myself that I know them too well, I go past them as though I have somehow mastered their truth, and the result is that I am losing the incredible insight and meaning they have for my life today.

The plain truth is that we can never hear the stories in the Bible too often. Why? Because we are told that 12 the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Each time we open the pages of scripture, God is speaking to us. Though we’ve read the words before, He has a message for us.  There is always more to learn, always more insight to gain, always fresh application for our lives, always conviction to be received, always comfort to be granted. God’s words never run dry, never grow irrelevant, never lose their meaning. They are living and they are active.

Besides, even if the lesson is familiar, have we mastered obedience to it so that we do not need the reminder?

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

Perhaps it’s been years since you’ve read some of the stories in the Bible that you feel are “too familiar”. Perhaps you read them, but like me, you read them with eyes that claim to have seen it before and a heart that is not widely open to the living truth it provides.  Let’s repent of claiming that we’ve somehow mastered the lessons they provide, and commit to go back, reread the stories we have grown up with, and ask God to show us the truth that he has for is in the pages of His word.

And to my father, when you read this post, I would like to invite you out to lunch where you can finally, with full freedom share all of the details about the time that you were lost in the desert!

4 Responses to “Lost in the Desert”

  1. Tanya November 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM #

    Wonderful reminders Dina! And oh so true! Enjoy hearing the desert story told by your father again….even I’m intrigued! Lol!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • digdeepwithdina November 25, 2012 at 8:32 AM #

      I’ll make sure to to post about the desert story when I get to hear it again! Thanks for your reply…so happy you’re still reading this!

  2. Ee November 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM #

    Wonderful approach Dina for a great advise. But unfortunately I will not join you to that lunch as I really don’t need a reminder of the famous desert story.


    • digdeepwithdina November 25, 2012 at 8:31 AM #

      Hahahaha….this response reeeeally made me laugh!!!!!!!!!!!

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