“It most certainly helps to know that others have been where you find yourself when you are going through difficult seasons.” Tarah Foster

A Scorched-Earth Wasteland


Sitting in my comfortable, over-stuffed, pink-patterned rocking chair, I find myself at a loss for words. As you may guess from my abundant use of adjectives in the previous sentence, this “loss of words” does not pertain to my beloved perch. No, this loss pertains to the subject I am writing about: The Spiritual Desert. You see, I may be sitting in my favorite chair, but my chair and I find ourselves smack-dab in the middle of a vast, dry, and unbearably quiet desert. Perhaps if I begin describing my spiritual desert, the words will flow. Let’s give it a whirl.

My path in life has somehow taken me to a barren wasteland surrounded by nothing but scorched earth. Each way I turn, the scenery remains the same. I am utterly lost and desperately need guidance, seemingly nowhere to be found. Not only do I feel completely alone and stuck in a hopeless situation, but when I drop to my knees and cry out in prayer, it’s as if my desperate pleas vaporize into the scorching desert heat, never to be heard by my Father in heaven.

Heavy… to say the least.

Have you ever found yourself in a desert like mine? Have you been asking your Heavenly Father for something in life, and there is seemingly no answer, direction, or change in your circumstance? If your answer is a resounding “Yes,” pay special attention to the word “seemingly,” as situations are not always what they seem — and know that you are in good company.


5 Essential Questions for the Spiritual Desert

Now that my words are flowing, here are five essential questions to ask yourself to survive your own charming (said with copious amounts of sarcasm) spiritual desert.



The first question you must ask yourself in your barren season is, “Who is God?” In normal circumstances, let alone the spiritual desert, it is vital to understand God’s character and who He is to us. I would argue that the best way to determine God’s attributes is to see what His Word says about Him. The verses you read below only scratch the surface of God’s character! They are merely the ones I have found most helpful while in the desert. Let’s dig into a few:

God is faithful: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful…” (2 Timothy 2:13)

God is compassionate, gracious, and loving: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…” (Exodus 34: 6)

God is good and forgiving: “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to You.” (Psalm 86: 5)

God is our strength, refuge, and helper: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

God is unchanging: “I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)



Now that you have a greater understanding of who God is, you should ponder where God spends His time. In the spiritual desert, it is SO easy to feel completely abandoned by God. In the desert, feelings of loneliness can fill your heart as your prayers seem to go decades without response. Perhaps you are thinking, “What does it matter if God is good, loving, and faithful if He isn’t even near me?” Don’t let this common lie steal God’s comfort from you! Let’s turn back to God’s Word:

“… for the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…” (Psalm 34:18)

“So do not fear, for I am with you…” (Isaiah 41:10)

“And surely I am with you always until the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

“Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)



So, now you know that God is your helper, and He is always with you. This is excellent news for those of us smack-dab in the middle of the desert heat. However, it gets even better! Just wait until you hear what God has to say about you! Understanding who God is allows you to trust Him during tough times, and understanding who you are to God gives you the comfort and peace needed to endure. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation, God sees you not only as His child but also as a victorious co-heir with Christ! You know where we’re turning, so let’s get to it:

You are His precious possession: “I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

You are His creation: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)

You are His child: “… that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

You are victorious: “But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

You are blessed: “…who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places with Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)

You are beloved: “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved…” (Colossians 3:12)



Spiritual deserts are no different! Many people God handpicked to build His kingdom and do great works (read “Biblical superstars”) have journeyed through the same wearisome desert where you currently reside. Who were some of these people, you ask? Read on to find out!

Jesus: (Yes, God’s own Son.): “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1)

Paul: “Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole day and a night adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys.” (2 Corinthians 11: 24-27) (Read the entire chapter to learn of Paul’s many sufferings; this is just a snippet.)

Moses: He spent 40 years in the desert tending sheep and ANOTHER 40 years in the wilderness leading God’s people… talk about patience! (Acts 7:30 and Numbers 32:13)

David: While hiding from Saul, who wanted to take his life, “…David stayed in the wilderness strongholds…” (1 Samuel 23:14 )


So, now you know that God is unchangingly good, and He is always with you. Not only that, but you are His beloved, victorious child! As a bonus, you have read of other Biblical peeps who have been through some tough spiritual deserts of their own. How do you apply all this good stuff? Well, believe it or not, I have a list for that too!

  • PRAY EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL ANYTHING: God is always present and listening to your prayers. Don’t fall for Satan’s lies that God is ignoring you. Don’t go by what you feel – go by what you know!
  • WORSHIP THROUGHOUT YOUR DESERT JOURNEY: Praising God for all He has done for you in the past is a wonderful reminder of His unchanging faithfulness. Praising God for what He will accomplish through you in the future is a fabulous way to access the hopeful joy that is yours for the taking.
  • SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OTHER BELIEVERS: Sometimes, we just can’t believe what God has promised for us. We are only human, and it can seem impossible to hold on to hope in oppressing desert heat. That’s okay. That’s what fellowship is for. Reveal to your most trusted circle that you are struggling. Let them pray over you and remind you of God’s truths as often as needed.
  • DEVOTE TIME TO SPEND WITH GOD IN HIS WORD: Know this: the silence will be broken. Your desert will end. The only way to hear from God is to continue to seek Him. The best way to seek Him is to read His Word. He does some AMAZING revealing when you truly take time to get to know Him — and when He reveals truth to you, and you can see a glimpse of the oasis just beyond your current desert, your heart will be flooded with true hope.
Yellow Bubbles
Tarah Foster

Tarah Foster

Tarah enjoys exercising, taking long bubble baths, and snuggling with her husband, Bradley, and their flame point Siamese kitty, Bernard. Diagnosed as a child with anxiety and OCD, Tarah understands the “battle of the mind” and strives to make all thoughts captive to Christ. In 2015, she was diagnosed with Corneal Neuralgia, a rare chronic pain disease of the eye. Since then, she has seen God’s healing hand in her life — and continues to learn to trust God and find peace in the waiting.

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