Thursday, January 31, 2008

Desert Living

...and he gave him Achsah
his daughter for a wife.
When she came to him,
she urged him to ask her
father for a field.
And she dismounted
from her donkey, and Caleb
said to her,"What do you want?"
She said to him, "Give me a blessing.
Since you have set me in the land
of the Negev,give me also springs of water.
And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

Judges 1:13b - 15

What a wedding gift! Achsah’s new husband Othniel asks her father for land as a wedding present. Caleb gives them acres in the Negev–land not hospitable to new life. Achsah finds herself in a situation beyond her control. But she doesn’t demand a more appropriate gift! Instead she asks for that which will make desert living possible.

"Give me a blessing–I can’t live in the desert without water." It’s a cry for help from a daughter to her father. Hearing her cry, Caleb does not skimp on his generosity. He gives Achsah the upper AND lower springs. It is so much more than she asked for.

My urgent cries to my Father are "get me out of this desert!" I don’t want to live in the Negev! But, to be able to see this desert as my Father’s gift, asking for a blessing to make the desert more habitable–this is how I want to live! Expecting God to exchange the gift would mean I know better what I need. To ask for a blessing within the desert is to acknowledge that God knows where I am living and what I need to survive.

Father, I am your child!
Hear my voice! I’m living in a desert
and I don’t know how to survive.
Hear my cry!
I am not asking for the desert to be removed.
Hear my voice!
You have given me this desert. Give me now
the springs of water that will help me survive.

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