Yesterday I was reflecting on one of the most amazing moments of my time in Israel, and I was so encouraged. It is a much-needed reminder for me, and I hope it encourages you as well.
It was the end of the third(ish) day of our trip (I think…all the days kinda run together). We were all completely exhausted, it was 110 degrees outside, and the dust from the sandstorm had not yet settled so it was hard to breathe. We went to a place called Ein Gedi, which is a nature reserve. As we entered the park, all we could see were these huge rocks and cliffs everywhere.
We climbed the rocks and followed a very steep path for what seemed like forever. Along the way, there was a tiny trickle of water, with a little bit of green here and there. It was just enough to give us hope. After all, the water had to be coming from somewhere…right??? We were dripping with sweat, so the dust in the air stuck to us. It was quite disgusting, if you ask me. And of course this white girl was getting burnt to a crisp. (Ya know how you can get a really bad sunburn when it’s cloudy? Same thing goes for dust storms, apparently…)
Finally, (between my huffing and puffing and gasping for air) I heard the most amazing sound… Rushing water. Just over the next big rock, there was a huge, beautiful waterfall. It came out of nowhere! The water was literally coming from a rock in the middle of the desert. (Think about that for a minute… Water…coming out of a rock…in the desert… Where does that happen? Oh yeah…in Israel.) We all crowded into the pool and stood under the waterfall.
I stood there at the edge of the refreshing water, in absolute awe, thinking about the significance of it all. And it hit me… The fresh, cool water gushing out of a rock would not have meant anything at all, had we not just climbed these massive rocks in 110 degree weather. A waterfall in the rainforest is very different from a waterfall in the desert.
This is how life seems to work sometimes. When you’re in the desert, it’s hot, things are hard, you’re exhausted, and it seems like it will never end. You’re dirty, sweaty, and you stink. Your throat is dry, and you may even be gasping for air. And then you finally reach the waterfall, and it brings so much relief, refreshment, rest, and peace. And suddenly, it’s all worth it.
Even when all we see are the hills and rocks and the intense climb ahead of us, and all we feel is the heat and exhaustion from the desert… A time of refreshing is coming! The hard stuff, the burnout, the exhaustion won’t last forever. There’s that little trickle of water and a few sprigs of green here and there, as a reminder that the refreshing waterfall is up ahead…just keep pushing through!