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Faith—An Oasis

Numbers 24:2b-3a & 5-7
And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said, … “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! Like palm groves that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the LORD has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters.”

When the Author of language waxes lyrical like this, it behooves us to not reply in kind as best we can, even if our greatest imitative parallels are like infantile scribbles in comparison, even if the sum of our words are the equivalent of a child taking a magic marker to the Mona Lisa. Nevertheless, The Lord Himself commanded us to come to Him as a child, and perhaps one way to accomplish that is by approaching the Bible as a coloring book, seeing the masterful outlines drawn by our Savior’s hand, and coloring them in through our insignificant but cherished lives of faith.

“Like palm groves that stretch afar!” writes our LORD. Rest in the shade of these metaphorical branches, friend. “Like gardens beside a river!” Eat the fruit of these lyrical looms! Do what my son does whenever we get to our favorite boulder on Laurel Creek and jump in! Immerse yourself not just in the meaning of redemption, but in its rhythms!

I doubt you woke up this morning and smelled the sweet aloe that permeates your faith. Maybe you saw the pile of unpaid bills on your counter or you heard the fluish cough of your spouse or you woke up to missed emails from frustrated co-workers. Maybe the mundane mess of your daily routine has that filmy hue of stagnation to it, like a pond in need of a heavy rain, and you feel uninspired. But did you consider that when God looks down on your obedience through the luminous veil of Christs atonement, your life is gushing and bubbling over like a pure mountain stream?!

It strikes me that habitual sin will not only keep many in this commonwealth from entering the oasis of heavenly rest, but also from being the oasis of heavenly rest in a wilderness world. May the LORD look upon our lives of faith today and speak this oracle over them. May the marks we make on the parchment of time and space not sully the scroll in God’s eyes but beautify it.