Have you ever experienced God taking certain dreams in your life and placing them in the “backside of some desert”? No life, no activity, no movement. It's just dark, dusty, and forgotten? This dream seems so long forgotten that you can’t even fathom experiencing life or hope there again.
Maybe it was the dream of pursuing a job or career, and after all the time, energy, and effort it seemed to fall completely flat.
Maybe you have experienced heartache or hardship in relationships, and although you have a sincere desire for a God-honoring relationship, time continues to pass and there seems to be no one on the horizon.
Maybe it is a dream for a family member to find God, and with every day that passes they seem to get farther and farther away from that reality.
Whatever that dream is, we find in the pages of scripture a man named Moses who is no stranger to this experience. He was a man marked by a peculiar and powerful destiny. Scripture even says that when Moses' mother gave birth to him "she saw that he was a fine child, and hid him for three months” (Exodus 2:2).
If you go on to read the story you find that Pharaoh had issued a harsh decree to throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile river (which was believed to be swarming with crocodiles). So, Moses' mother takes her special boy, lays him in a basket, and sends him down the river; praying that something miraculous would happen.
As God would have it, Moses was "drawn from the water"(as his name means), by who? Pharaoh's daughter of course. Bible scholars believe that Pharaoh's daughter was barren, and therefore, God already knew she would be compassionate toward an orphaned baby in need of a mother.
This backstory gives context to the lengths God went to in preserving this little life. As Moses grew up living among the Egyptians he was continually exposed to the oppression and cruel treatment of his people.
Moses reached his limit when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew man. His desire to avenge his own people drove him to kill this Egyptian, and hide him in the sand. When he realized that this act did not go unseen, and Pharaoh sought to kill him, he fled--to the backside of the desert.
The backside of the desert is the west side of the desert, the region behind a man. How interesting. How fitting. Moses was escaping his past (what was behind him).
But couldn’t we say that what was in his past--the indignation to avenge his people--was the very thing connected to his destiny? Although this story precedes ours by thousands of years it bears a truth that isn’t tarnished or diminished with time.
I have also found that when God wants to transform or heal us in a particular area He takes us to a barren, lifeless, and essentially dead place in order to birth new life.
God preserved Moses' life, and placed a dream in his heart to deliver his people because He planned to call Moses to such a monumental task. But first Moses needed to be transformed. This was not God’s punishment but rather God’s preparation, so he would be able to stand when his time of promotion came.
In our stories, we must remember how Moses' story unfolded. His desert experience found its climax in a calling from God which not only made sense of his wilderness experience, but also of the desire he always carried in his heart to deliver his people.
My proposition is that maybe, like Moses, that dream of yours that is presently residing on the backside of some proverbial desert--dead, dusty, and lifeless; maybe that is the very dream God is waiting to bring the most glory out of. Our lowly places are preparing us for our lofty callings.
For example, let's fast forward in Moses' story. Where was he for forty years? Journeying through the wilderness with two million Hebrew men, women, and children.
I would say that his "backside of the desert experience" prepared him for his calling. And your backside of the desert journey is preparing you for your calling. Don't get it twisted, this desert is not the end-all-be-all. Our God is one who brings life out of death and light out of darkness.
Be encouraged and don’t despair over that dream in your life that hasn’t yet come to pass--recognize that it is God's way of preparing you for greatness. Remember, God wants us equal to our task--if our calling is great, He needs to make us great.
It is so easy to misunderstand His ways, but in those difficult seasons trusting His heart of love is the only way THROUGH. And God desires to do just that-- bring you through, and into the fulfillment of your, not forgotten, but very well-known-to-God dreams.
Barbara Hill is an East coast girl who moved from Baltimore to California to volunteer with A21. She is a worshipper, freedom fighter, blogger, and recently finished her masters in Biblical Counseling. Connect with her on her blog.