Life kind of got the better of me over the past week, and making time to reflect on Lent in this little space has been difficult. Forgive me if you showed up each day to find me missing.

Life kind of got the better of my other Lenten intentions as well, and I have found myself far from the contemplative spirit I was hoping to foster. Work is stressful; my trip to Southeast Asia is approaching quickly; my normal evening and weekend activities are requiring more attention lately; and I am trying to make extra time to spend with my family. Fasting from multitasking and trying to do one thing at a time has not made my life simpler in the past couple of weeks; it’s meant that I’ve been running (quite literally at times) to fit it all in.

It’s easy to fill this space with the quiet reflections of a life going well. But in the past couple of weeks, the wilderness has been more than a metaphor, and the darkness and dryness of my circumstances has been nothing compared to the struggle in my soul. It’s not doubt I’m confronting. It’s sin. Black, dirty sin. And the more I cry out to the Lord, the more obvious it becomes.

Ironically, after a month of reflecting and repenting, I have come to experience what I first discovered a month ago. The darkest wildernesses we will encounter are the wildernesses within. Navigating our circumstances, however treacherous, feels “easy” with a well-watered soul. But making our way through even the easiest of circumstances becomes almost impossible when we are dry and dead inside.

I don’t know if you are finding the wilderness within to be almost too much, like I am. But if you are, here’s what we are going to do. We are going to look to Psalm 107 where there is great hope for people like us, hope for the wanderers who can’t find their way, hope for the prisoners of misery and rebellion, hope for fools of iniquity and traders in sin.

Cry out to the Lord in your trouble.

For he has satisfied the thirsty soul.

Give thanks for the Lord for His lovingkindness.

He saved them out of their distresses.

Offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of His works with joyful singing.

He sent His word and healed them.

“He changes a wilderness into a pool of water and a dry land into springs of water; And there he makes the hungry to dwell, so that they may establish an inhabited city, and sow fields and plant vineyards, and gather a fruitful harvest. Also, he blesses them and they multiply greatly, and he does not let their cattle decrease.”