I wrote this devotional Christian poem in 2017 after studying Exodus and Deuteronomy. The setting of the poem is when Moses and the Israelites were wandering around the desert for 40 years. It also includes a reference to when Elijah had travelled 40 days and nights to God’s mountain in 1 Kings 19.
I also mention the simile ‘it was a two-by-four moment,’ (2B4) which means that it came as a surprise or a shock, an ‘aha’ moment. It is a common term used in Australia.
As this is a devotional poem, it speaks of the main personal lesson that I received from this Bible study. God challenged my negative attitude toward my circumstances at the time. It was time for me to wipe my tears, get up and walk forward in my life. I was craving attention and support from my family and friends. I realized I needed to turn my attention to God and trust and lean on Him more deeply, and to believe that He alone was able to completely fill my voids.
Although family and friends can help us in times of trouble, there comes a time when we need to stand back up on our own two feet and walk on with God, trusting and believing He will sustain us into the future. God may one day call on us to be strong for our family and friends, so we need to first strengthen our own walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. Beverley Joy
40 years I’ve roamed in the wilderness
Oh, not another boring poem
About the wilderness of my mind
More navel-gazing “Oh, poor me?”
No, this poem is different
It’s what I like to call
A ‘2B4’ moment
A lesson from God as a discipline.
You see, I’d been shuffling my feet in the desert sand
Feeling sorry for myself
I didn’t like my lot in life
Where was the love, where was the fun?
My world was scorched with challenges
Draining my spirit and relationships
The daily walk of life was merciless
That beat down on me like the midday heat.
I was hungry for attention
Thirsty for acceptance
Though people were with me
I felt alone in my misery.
Then, I saw my walk was like the Israelites
They grumbled to Moses for food and water
But in fact, they grumbled at God their provider.
I stopped in my tracks when I realized the fact
I was grumbling to God about my ‘miserable’ lot
God the giver of life, of food, my very breath,
And everything I needed for my nourishment.
God sustains our existence
If He paused to take His breath
The rising sun and moon would cease
The earth would stop on its axis.
I am not alone in my desert walk
All around me people hunger and thirst
Family and friends, everyone
Wilderness roaming, when will it end?
But I noticed, some walk with purpose and determination
They stick to the highway and don’t turn to byways
They rest under shade from the midday heat
They reach their destination in under a week.
But as for me,
I shuffle through the dust in the midday sun
Sulking and idly kicking stones
Carrying my heavy pack off the beaten track.
Does God hear my groans? Well yes, He does.
And He says, “Have you noticed the desert flowers?”
“Have you cooled your heels in a desert stream?”
“Rested in the shade of an oasis?”
“Have you admired the wildlife
That survive and thrive in desert life?
No, you’ve been busy gazing at your navel
You can’t see past your dirty feet and nails.”
“Look out, look up, turn around, look about
Behold my mountain that stands before you
The mountain of God of which Elijah knew
Tremble at my power, feel safe in my whisper.”
“The sandy ground hold desert gold
Deep wells quench eternal thirst
Day and night, I fed the Israelites
I gave them shade; I gave them light.”
“Your friends and family are struggling
They’ve been bitten by evil snakes
Poisoned, wounded, sick and in pain
Their health is failing, their youth wanes.”
“But you, my dear, I have gifted
With a healthy mind and body
You keep praying for wisdom and guidance
And I answer you through my Word.”
“So, stop looking for love to fill your cup
Stop craving attention and acceptance
Stop crying for help and sympathy
From people who are broken and empty.”
“My love will quench your endless thirst
I satisfy your hunger with My Word
That is enough, stop sucking your thumb
Finish strong and bold your wilderness roam.”
“Walk with me, I know the Way
For a purpose, I created the desert land
I’ll lead you to eternal treasures
Hidden deep beneath the sand.”
“I am with you day and night
The cloud is not grey, it’s to give you shade
The fire by night is not to give a fright
It radiates my presence and gives you light.”
“Climb with me to the mountain peak
Take in the splendour of the scenery
Gasp in wonder at my majesty
Praise and honour my creativity.”
Humbled I breathed a sigh of relief
A huge weight had lifted off my shoulders
As I threw away my emotional baggage
That I’ve painfully lugged around for ages.
Oh, Father, I’m so sorry, please forgive me
I’ll lift my feet as I walk along
Throw in a skip, dance a jig, sing a song
Of praise and thanksgiving as I wilderness roam.
Beverley Joy © 2017 of Simply Story Poetry
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here