Lost in a Sandstorm

Son of God,

I wake,

And fight to breathe.


My heart won’t settle.

Won’t still.

Deep inside of me a conflict wages.

I pray with my lips,

But I reach it not.


I sit,

But I’m not still.

I speak,

But have no peace.


Son of God,

I hear You speaking too,

And I know You’re here,

And working,

But the clash is so loud,

I can’t rest.


I fight to see.

I fight to breathe.

I fight to think.

And all along I wonder,

If I’m not just crazy.

If the conflict that wages within,

Is just my overactive imagination.


I try to name the enemies I wrestle with,

But still they sit on my chest like a heavy weight.

It seems to me that the tiny steps forward in You that I’ve taken,

Have stirred the sleeping hornet’s nest.


Angry thoughts sting like so many irate wasps.

Condemnation and accusation from every angle.

And my lungs paralyze,

And breathing freezes.


I try to think.

To hold on to what I know.

Deep inside of me I hear Your voice,

Calling out to me.

But it sounds small and far away.

Like a distant calling through a violent windstorm.


And Your voice is a small echo,

From a cavern somewhere in the distance.

But I’m whipped and buffeted on every side,

By this violent wind.


Dust blows in my eyes,

And it stings,

And I blink.

I try to concentrate on Your voice in the distance.

Try to find my way through the dust storm to You.


I take a step,

And my enemy kicks dust in my mouth,

And stirs the wind,

Even more.


Dazed and confused,

I fall to my knees in the hot sand.

I sputter and spit,

Trying to expel the dust and ashes from my mouth.

I will not feast on them.


Eyes stinging,

Throat scratched and parched,

Mouth full of gritty sand,

I expel the polluted air from my lungs,

With all the power I have left.

And my lungs heave,

For new breath,

New air.


Yet each new breath,

Brings yet more sand,

And I choke on the particles,

As they tickle my nose and throat.


My eyes are too dry for tears.

My throat is too parched to cry out,

And I fear I will die here.

For how can help come,

If I can’t even call out?


Yet I hear You,

Calling out to me.


God who knew I was lost,

Before I did.

God who never forsakes me,

No matter how many sandstorms,

I end up in.


And I’m not sure what happened,

Or why I’m here.

The sandstorm taunts me,

Mocks me,

Makes me wonder where I am.


And I’m baffled and stunned.

Green grass turned to sand so quickly,

And who can make sense of it?


Is this an illusion?

A mirage?

A trick of heat and desert?

Am I yet in green pastures,

And by still waters,

And it’s only the sand and wind,

That block my view?


Or have I somehow wandered,

And gotten lost,

In a desert wilderness somewhere?


Have I been taken away captive?

Or am I being lied to?

Why are the swarms of thoughts in my head,

So loud?


The sand finds my weaknesses,

Slips in through the cracks,

And lodges there.

Sand in my teeth.

Sand in my eyes.

Sand in my nose.


Like a pebble in my shoe.

Small enough to slip in anywhere,

Painful enough to cause irritation and rash and pain,



And where one grain finds a way in,

So many others follow.

And the multitude,

And the hoard,

And the swarm,

Is so much worse,

Than the one was at first.


You can’t really,

Fight sand.

Try to grab it in your fist,

And it just slips through.

Try to clench it in your teeth,

And it just irritates and grinds.

Try to kick it with your feet,

And it just finds its way,

In between toes,

Underneath nails,

And inside all your open wounds.


It’s an irritating enemy,


At once substantial,

And unsubstantial.


At once there,

And also,




But fluid.

Visible in swarms,

Yet invisible alone.


Hard to see,

Hard to track,

Hard to trace,

Hard to catch.



And yet patronizing.

Substantial enough to irritate and annoy and distract,

Yet small enough to hide and mock.


An enemy at once visible,

And invisible.

And enemy at once there,

And not.


And there I am,

Knees down in the hot sand,

Spitting and blinking,

And trying to produce tears,

To wash the filth away.


Here I am,

Brought to my knees,

By an enemy at once so powerful,

And so small.

Large enough to bring me to my knees,

Yet too small to catch.


And it mocks me.


Brought to my knees,

By naught but sand.

And it’s hard to feel like a warrior,

When your enemy,

Is a speck of dirt.


From somewhere beyond the storm,

Your voice calls to me,

“Come away, child.

Come away to Me,

And find rest.”


I hear You,

And Your voice echoes in a calm,

And spacious place,

Outside of the storm.

You speak to me from the place of peace,

Of rest.


I hear,

And I crawl on hands and knees,

Toward the sound of Your voice.


But the enemy kicks the sand in my face,

And laughs.



I choke and spit.

Direction lost,

I listen again.


There You are,

The voice calling out to me.

I reorient myself,

Change my direction,

And continue my desperate clawing,

And crawling.


On hands and knees,

I flounder and thrash,

Through hot desert sand.

The unsteady substance,

Shifts and sinks underneath me.

The going is slow,

And wearisome.


So much energy expended,

Yet I’ve gone about as far,

As a stone’s throw.


I collapse,


Face down in the hot sand,

I lie.

My strength,

Utterly spent.


The sand blows around me,

And something in me detaches,

And I just take in the moment.

A spectator in my own dream.


I feel hot sand on my face,

And the hot wind that blows,

All through my hair.

I let the earth absorb my weight,

And I just,




I cry out to You.

My heart groans words,

I know not.


But all that I am,

Just reaches to You.

And beyond the words,

The honest soul,

Cries out.


I don’t even know what it’s saying.

I just groan with all the strength,

I can find.



The storm seems to subside.


The wind seems to fade,

From a raging gale,

To a gentle breeze.


Underneath me,

The sand hardens,

Back into solid ground,

And I’m lying on green grass.


Beside me,

A pool of clear blue water ripples,

Where a moment ago,

There was only sand.



I push myself up off the ground,

Hope returning strength to my limbs.


I look up,

And see blue sky.

Tufts of white fluffy clouds,

Drift lazily by.

And between patches of these,

The sun shines.


Soft and warm and bright,

But not hot,

Or scorching.

It shines in the way of a friend,

And not a foe.


I turn toward the water,

And take shaky, stumbling steps toward it.



Dazed and bewildered,

I stagger forward,

Fall to my knees,

And drink.


I rinse the sand from my mouth,

My eyes,

My nose,

My face.


I drink the cool liquid,

Down deep.

I let it reach and refresh and wash,

The deepest parts of me.


Son of God,

Who is the Living Water.

You find me in my desert weariness,

And You give Yourself to me,

To drink.


Weak and reeling,

From a conflict both unseen,

And unexpected,

I feel so,



Taken and tossed,

By something as small,

And inane,

As sand,

I hang my head in frustration,


And anger.


Yet You meet me.

On my knees in the hot sand,

You meet me.


When my mouth is too dry,

And cracked,

For words,

And my eyes are too dry,

And blind,

For tears,

You meet me.


You come to me,

When I can’t,

Seem to make it,

To where You are.


God who speaks encouragement to my terrified heart,

When I am too stubborn,

And too stuck,

To breathe.


I try to walk to where I hear You calling out,

And I cannot make it.

So You come to me,

And You lift me up in Your grace,

And give me strength,

To go to You.


You come and walk by my side,

As I walk to You.


It’s a mystery that baffles me,

Until I think of the Trinity,

And it makes sense.


God on the throne,

Calls out to me.

Father bids me come.


God within me,

Cries out,

To God on the throne.

And Your Spirit,

Cries out Your name,

Son of God,

When I have not the words.


Son of God,

Comes to me,

Hears His own Spirit crying out.

Son of God,

Strengthens me,

And walks with me,

To Father’s throne.


And I walk with You,

Son of God,

Even as I walk to You.

I walk with You,

My Savior,

Even as I walk toward the worship of You,

My Lord,

And King.


And You are the One,

Who helps me,

To worship You.



Son of God,

I am the weak one,

Who chokes on sand.

The one who soars high on mountains with You,

And wobbles on trembling legs,

And trips over her own cleft feet,

In the valleys and the crevices.


I am the one,

Who breaks when the first stone,

Is thrown.


I am the one who falters and fears,

When the arrow hits,

Even someone who is not,



Fiery darts that pierce others,

Somehow pierce me too.

And the pierced one,

Turns and breathes their fire out on me too,

And I wilt,

Under the slightest strain.


Son of God,

I am truly a weak thing.

And anytime I try to stand on my own two feet,

Try to stand my ground,

In my own name,

I fall.

And I fall hard.


I try to stand on what You’ve spoken,

But my eyes are on the waves,

And not on You.


And when I’m staring at the waves,

Your voice seems so far away,

And small.


When I’m breathing in the sand,

I cannot see,

The Living water.


I try to drink deep,

But the sand still fills my mouth,

And the whole thing turns,

To mud.


But You are the Living Water,

And the Living God,

Who washes me clean.


You are the Living God,

Who never leaves me or forsakes me.

And though I stumble,

And close my eyes,

And think myself in darkness,

Yet You grab my outstretched hand,

Open my eyes,

And make me to know,

That I still feast on grace.


Son of God,

I know it,

As my fingers find keys here,

In daylight.

We wage more of a war than we know.


And so much,

That I have feasted on,

For so many years,

And so much,

That is being thrown at me now,

Is rotten fruit.


Poisonous lies,

Like so many fiery arrows.

So many accusations,

And condemnations,

And guilt and pride,

Focused on me.


But I know it,

In the back of my heart I’m learning it,

That the way of life,

Is found in Your name.


And the anchor for my soul,

Is the worship of You.

Is the gospel.

And the salvation of my soul,

Is the confessing of it.


And the sandstorm,

Tries with all its might,

To blind me from the truth of the gospel.

Tries to create just enough confusion and grain,

To block the clear image from my mind.

To keep my remembrance,



And the sandstorm,

Doesn’t want me to see,

Or understand,

Your truth and grace.

And if it can keep me from the truth of the gospel,

And Your riches here,

It will think itself a winner.


For without Your gospel,

There is no peace,

There is no joy,

There is no life.


Without the gospel,

There is no fellowship,

There is no forgiveness,

There is no hope.


But the gospel changes everything.


And the minute my soul drinks from the gospel oasis,

The sandstorm dies,

And the world is green and lush,

Once more.


Son of God,

Anytime the sandstorm arises,

My eyes are on me.

All that I am,

And all that I’m not.

And the swirl of it all,

Drives me mad.


Many a soul,

Has been driven mad,

By the sandstorm of self.


Many a soul,

Wanders in the desert still,

When they might drink,

Of the rivers of living water,

And dwell,

In the lush pastures,

Of abundant life.


Son of God,

I will confess Your name.

You are all that I am not,

But want to be.


You are all that I am not,

For me.


Son of God,

I confess it out loud,

To the sand and the darkness and the wind.

I confess it out into the light,

I step out and make myself known.

I confess it,

You know my naked heart.


Son of God,

I confess it,

You know who I am.

You see the motives of my heart,

Laid bare.


Beneath the sandstorm,

You know what blows,

And breathes here.


You see,

You understand,

You know.


Son of God,

You know me through and through.

You understand,

These which in my heart,

Are only riddles to me.


But I am not a riddle to You.

You search,

You see,

You understand,

You know.


Son of God,

I confess it,

Who You are is greater,

Than all my weaknesses,

And frailties here.


You are greater than my sin,

And any struggles I face.

You are greater than my weakness,

And the way I so easily,



God Almighty,

Who purposely chose,

The weak and foolish things.

And I confess,

These things are me.


You are God who knew me,

Before my birth.

And You are God who chose me,

Before I yet had a name.


You gave me a name.

You gave me Yours.

And I was a child of sin,

But You gave me Your own name,

And made me Yours.


My God and Father,

I confess it.

Spit the words back into the four winds,

And defy the lies of the sand.


I am Yours,

And Your own Spirit strengthens me,

To confess it.

I can’t even speak the words,

But that You fill my lungs with air,

And give me Your song to sing.


I have been given the song of the kingdom,

To sing.



The stumbling,



Fool of a thing.

You give me Your song,

To sing.


And God,

The only place I live,

Is in the place,

Of singing Your song.



The sinner,

Living in the cold and broken world,

You come to me,

And give me Your song to sing.


And immediately,

The world is transformed,

And the kingdom is here,

And I am clothed in robes of righteousness,

And the ugly flesh,

Is made beautiful.


I look at myself,

Reflected in the rivers of living water,

That flow through Your kingdom,

And I marvel that this beauty,

Could be the same person,

As me.


I marvel at You,

Who can bring life out of death,

And beauty out of ugliness,

And good out of evil.


Son of God who clothes my naked soul in righteousness,

I look at my soul in Your kingdom,

And I scarcely recognize it.

But it bears so much good fruit,

How could it yet be mine?


God Almighty,

Who can grow trees of righteousness,

In what for generations,

Has been naught but rock-hard soil.


Nothing is impossible for You.


You take what was dead,

And You make it alive.

You bring water from rocks,

And bread from heaven,

And You bring forth fruit,

Where there were only thorns and thistles.


I falter and stumble,

But Your hand never wavers.

You strengthen my heart,

And You make me to stand.


Son of God,

You make me the fragrance of You,

And my life smells of Your name,

To the Father.


O, Son of God,

I would linger here,

Dwelling in the truth,

Of this!


I would linger in this place,

Of meditating on Your gospel,

And confessing it aloud,

And finding fellowship with You here.


O, Son of God,

Banish all lesser thoughts!

And all thoughts of pride,

And of self,

And of guilt,

Prune away, Father.


Thank You, my God,

That You are working,

To create righteousness in me.

Thank You that You are doing,

A good work in me here.

Thank You that You are good,

And You are doing good things,

And You will finish,

What You have begun.


Thank You that I will be,

The fragrance of Christ,

And the testimony of His name,

And I will be Your glory to You,



Thank You that my life,

Is a trophy of Your grace.

Thank You that my soul,

Is a trophy of Your gospel.


Son of God,

I thank You for You.

And I thank You for You in me.

I thank You for who You are,

And for giving Yourself,

To me.


And I thank You that You are in me,

And You have sealed me with Your name,

And Your Spirit,

And I am Yours,

And You are doing good and grace and gospel things,

In me.


I thank You for this.

I rejoice in grace here.

I drink from the oasis,

And the whole world,

Is green grass,

And living waters.


For any place with Your presence,

Is abundant life.



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