Overcoming the Desert in My Soul


How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert? Mark 8:4

How, indeed? Not only were the disciples nearly empty-handed (only seven loaves for several men? probably not going far), they were in the desert. I’ve lived near deserts before, and there truly isn’t much to even forage for food. Deserts are dry, and the plants able to grow and survive aren’t good for eating. The disciples, realists they are, point out that it’s not an easy—or even possible—task to feed crowds with bread, in a desert. Realists they may be, they are also doubters.

My soul is a desert at times. A desert in which I feel parched, exhausted, hungry. A desert in which I can’t see the end, much less an oasis. A desert from which I feel I have little, if anything, to offer.

There are days in my vocation as a wife (and mother and homeschooler) that my meager “loaves of bread” seem like crumbs compared to the hunger and needs of my family (not to mention myself). I wander through the day, aimlessly, struggling to keep up with my to-do lists. It’s as if I’m going to “faint on the way” to bedtime, barely hanging on by a thread. (You know, the 3pm slump and then the 4-6pm witching hours? Some days it feels nearly impossible to get through those hours!) I doubt that I have enough to offer, or that what I have is good enough.

I may doubt, but there is hope. With Jesus, all things are possible. He is the miracle-worker, not me. It is foolish for me to rely on my own strength to do all the things. All I need to do is to offer my gifts, my energy (little though it may be some days), my hopes for my family to Jesus, and let Him do the rest. He can, and does multiply what I have so that needs are met. He can, and does turn my desert into a garden in my heart, when I come to Him in prayer.

Jesus calls me to Him, daily, just as He called his disciples to Him. He only asks that I give Him thanks for my blessings, and ask Him into my heart and life to lead me. When I do that, I’ll be satisfied, and I’ll be filled with the grace to do all the things asked of me during each day.

Listen for Jesus. Come to Him in prayer and the Word and let Him bless your efforts.

photo credit

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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