When I look at states like Arizona, deserts, I have a hard time seeing life in the vegetation. I know it’s there and beautiful in its different way. But I’m just a Midwest girl now living in New England and used to lots of green trees and bushes, not to mention flowers and grass. So in a recent Shabbat encouragement when I riffed on the green doughed challah likening the vibrant color to spring and rebirth, that imagery brought me close to Yeshua, our eternal Creator.
Yet when we are in the desert, when we go through challenging times in our lives, we often find it easier to sense God’s presence in little things because it is not obvious that He is there – if He were, why would we be having such tsuris? We become attuned to the little signs He is with us just as we notice the single flower on the cactus, how special it seems when not taken for granted as part of a lush rose garden. For in times of plenty, as in a lusciously delicious challah, we enjoy life, feel full of the vibrancy life offers, are not hungry.
During those times of plenty, sometimes we are not as hungry for Him. We take His goodness for granted. Our faith is not tested. During the desert times, we are reminded to not rely on the works of our hands, but rather, to trust Him. Ironically, when we do so, those are the most deeply filling times, for we sense the shalom that comes with knowing He has our backs. We know that all will be fine since we have just experienced the truth that without Him, we would not make it through. The less we have, the more we need Him. The more we recognize that truth, the more profoundly we see Him – in the little things, and in everything.
As we experience these days of Passover, eating matzoh reminds us of those barren days when the Israelites weren’t sure they would survive, when they had to trust in Him. The truth is, however, that by doing so, even the scorched land, the most dried out matzoh, sustained miraculously. For living fully is reveling in the reality that He is real as evidenced in the countless ways He breathes life into dust, the many ways He manifests Himself – the inexplicable coincidences, providential occurrences, loving acts of others, scriptural insights, encouragements one to another.
During this time of Pesach, we celebrate our new lives, freshly immersed in the living waters, the mayyim hayyim of Yeshua. We recognize that we are already in that land of plenty, if not fully at this very moment, at least with the many glimpses of His presence now and yet to come.
Next year in Israel! Some day with our Messiah!
Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom.