God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John 1:6
God sent so many of his servants to a literal desert to set them apart from society, to test their faith, to shape them, to heighten their listening skills, and ultimately, to prepare them to be peculiar. A person can live life a little differently if he knows it’s just for a day or a weekend but let him be tested in a desert that spans years and he will emerge as peculiar. No longer will he be governed by the mindset of the mainstream.
How many God has taken to the desert. A place where no one asked to go. A place away from competing voices. A place away from distractions. A place of deafening silence and little provision. It is there that God speaks and His voice is powerful, yet parental, against the backdrop of deprivation. If the desert were a palace, would God’s servant even listen? Not like he would if his surroundings were stark.
Moses lived in a desert 40 years. Jesus prepared for ministry in a desert 40 days. John the Baptist made the desert his home before prison bars defined his dwelling place just weeks before his death. He didn’t look, dress, act, or dine like anyone else. John the Baptist was God’s peculiar servant.
The past twelve months have been a kind of desert. Away from friends and family, away from the workplace, away from social gatherings, we have tried to adjust to the quiet. God’s voice has spoken into our need, and for many, His voice has been shaping them to re-emerge peculiar. At large, people will not be the same after this. They may feel out of place in the company of certain friends. They may be ill at ease with idle chatter. They will be more thoughtful and discerning. New habits were formed in our desert. Many of the things we used to habitually put on our calendar may no longer appeal to us.
Why? We have sought God’s face in the wilderness. We have bent low the to hear the voice of God in perpetual quiet. We are now an army of peculiars.
I am a babe. Teach me how to live all over again. Amen