Beauty in a Barren Place


Before I ventured into the Mojave Desert, I had this Hollywood stereotypical image of a harsh and barren place. While I was enduring 16 days without a shower, shampoo or toilet – along with 5000 of my comrades, it did feel like the harsh environment that it was. But signs of God’s handiwork were easier to see there than in a city of manmade structures. These rocks are just a tiny sample of the trillions of colorful rocks on that desert floor. Yes, they are covered with a fine dusting of sand, but when the wind blows and the sunlight hits them, their colors almost glow. As the sun changes positions in the sky, the colors change even more.

The sunrises and sunsets in the desert are somehow different every day, but just as breathtaking. The heavens above at night are spectacular -especially on a clear night. The wildlife includes wild donkeys, jack rabbits, coyotes, beautiful black hawks, mountain lions, snakes of all kinds, scorpions, spiders, ants, and beautiful lizards. There are small plants and cacti. Life abounds in this “barren place!”
The take-home lesson I learned is this: when you feel your life is barren, like you have hit a tremendous dry spell in your life…or that your life has even become a wasteland of troubles and harsh realities… STOP! LOOK AROUND! Notice the beauty of God’s touch in your life. When I quit complaining about the harsh desert conditions, I started noticing God’s wonders everywhere. My cold went away. I began to feel a change in my spirit. I found myself humming a tune often. God is actually easier to see in the tougher times. But we must stop complaining. We must open our eyes and use our senses and we will experience God. I brought these few rocks home to help me remember this lesson. Thank you God, for the desert…and for being there in the desert experiences of our lives!


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jodie on 9 April 12 at 22:20

    Thanks for sharing God’s beautiful work. No matter where you find yourself, if you look hard enough, we will see God all around you.


  2. Posted by Tammy Norton on 9 April 12 at 22:47

    Sometimes the hardest thing to remember is to just STOP! I know I’m guilty of this!! I get wrapped up in my day, my calendar, my to-do list, my expectations, etc that I forget to STOP and enjoy/appreciate the simple beauty around me. I know I’m a better person when I remember to STOP and put “moments” before check marks on my to-do list! I’m getting better at STOPPING, but I’m still a work in progress! 🙂


    • RUSH has a song that I love called “Time Stand Still.” It is a pretty song that reminds me to make time stand still if you will, by trying to sometimes see myself from outside my self. Not just self awareness, but just taking mental notes of what’s around me. Thats why I like the outdoors so much – because in every blade of grass and bug, and every rock and tree, God is easy to see. What did Jesus say? “Consider the lilies..” You think Jesus paid attention to the beauty around him? Oh yeah!


  3. Posted by Brian Hargrove on 9 April 12 at 23:19

    What a blessing God has given you! The furthest west I got was Fort Bliss. There was nothing but rocks and sand out there too.

    You are so right. I have to make myself slow down and look for God sometimes. It is easy no matter where you are to get so caught up about what is wrong that I miss all the things that are right! God is great, and he is everywhere.

    As soon as I can run a 5k, we are going to get together and run.


    Brian Hargrove


  4. Posted by Christy on 10 April 12 at 00:09

    So true to stop and look around you. Thanks for sharing cousin!


  5. Posted by Buford Marion Pennington on 10 April 12 at 01:07

    Hooah! and “Happy Easter!” belatedly. Your Bro-in-Christ! A successful failure! BMP


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