Into the Book

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Desert of the Heart - Pamela Reeve

Recommended
This book I got from a yard sale and was recommended to me by a friend. The book was cheap (In fact, free) so I picked it up and flipped through it. I’ve always been a bit dubious about books like this and this book was no exception for me. But I started reading it.

I was deeply impressed by the book. I read it all in about forty-five minutes, and then read it again (At only about one hundred pages, that’s not too hard to do). The book has a very clear structure, divided into three parts: “The Empty Desert”, “The Testing Desert”, and “Springs in the Desert”. One of the things I like about the book is that it is very clear and straightforward.

1. “The Empty Desert”
The first section, “The Empty Desert”, opens with an analogy of a hiker. He has been hiking through a forest with a vivid stream at his side. Suddenly, the forest fades away, and he eventually walks into a desert. This is paralleling our times in life when things are going well, we feel good, and all of a sudden, everything sours. We are in the desert.

First, in this section of the book the author emphasizes letting go of our past. No matter what we have lost by coming into the desert, we need to let go. By holding on to our anger, or regret, or sadness, we are lugging around a emotional weight to the past. God’s plan for us is to walk through this new life he prepares, no matter what the situation may be.

Secondly Ms. Reeve covers doing nothing. Once you leave the past behind, where is your destination? Where were the mile-stones? What do you do when there is no focus? This is the empty desert’s greatest lesson: You are not the one in ultimate control. We must wait and let God sustain us until he opens another way. When we are not preoccupied with all the facades of our old life, there is nothing between us and God, and we can worship him.

2. “The Testing Desert”
During the testing desert, we must go through a long trial, but ultimately the Lord has in mind for us blessing for withstanding that trial. But we can only make it through this desert if we admit the fact that we are utterly powerless and we cling to the Lord for sheer mercy and grace. We must plead to God for forgiveness, and turn to Him for mercy and grace to help in our need.

Only God’s presence in us can conquer temptation. His eyes on us are filled with love and compassion, not disgust! In the testing desert we realize how there are not only bad spots on our heart, but that our entire fleshly heart is sinful! Our only goodness is the gift of Christ’s perfect righteousness.

Two things result from the testing desert. One, a compassion for others struggling in temptation. Two was humility. Seeing your own heart is enough to humble anyone!

3. “Springs in the Desert”
Sometimes, we are in a desert where we can see no good in anything. Then we round a corner and there is brilliant green and tons of vegetation. The author uses Death Valley as an example. What is the source of this brilliant carpet? Springs. Springs in the desert can make even the driest sand support life! This spring is Jesus’ spring of living water, which he promises to the Samaritan woman in John 4.

How can we stay alive in the Lord when desert sands whip around us and all we can see is more sand? At the beginning of our walk with Christ he shows us this spring, but often we let the sand drift in, and it blocks the flow. Dig out the spring and drink–drink deeply–once again!

Chapter 11 in the book asks this question, “What is life all about, anyway? Heaven! This life is just preparation for the eternal reality of heaven. All the events that happen to us on this earth will prepare us for our place in heaven.

But what about a second spring? We need a spring for the burning heat of life’s deserts. Ms. Reeve gives this answer, “Hear Me, My daughter. You are that pearl to me. You are a pearl of great price.” Too often we feel we are worthless, but we aren’t to God. He loved us enough to sacrifice himself on the cross for us! We can always cling to the truth that God has chosen us! However, the author neglects to mention, except for an aside in one sentence, that not only are we a pearl to God but He is a pearl of great price to us. (Matt. 13:45-46)

By nature we are deserts, but God stepped in and created an oasis. He desires to love us. He invites us to walk through the desert of life while leaning on His arm! He wants us to know that no matter what our circumstances, we are deeply and intensely loved!

Jesus Christ walks by our side! We should look forward to heaven, where our hearts will constantly pour forth pure worship. The darkness of this world is still here, but our Bridegroom waits in heaven, he watches and waits for us, the Bride. “Anticipation of that moment reminds us…we do not walk toward sunset and gathering darkness; we walk toward sunrise and eternal day.”

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I realize that the outline that I did above is quite a bit longer than my reviews, but I basically went through each part of the book and highlighted important parts. The reason for that is this: I feel this book is important for people to read. It not only gives us a wonderful reason for deserts in our life and how to get through them, but gives us the pure, defining reason for being in this life: To glorify God through the Holy Spirit who lives in us and to live in anticipation of heaven where we will worship God forever, without end! That is our purpose in life and should be the defining focus of all our years.

I recommend this book, but the author fails to mention one crucial point, which prevents me from putting it on my top five list. The author fails to mention that even though we are a pearl of great price to the Lord, He is a pearl of great price to us! Also, what sustains us isn’t that the Lord is waiting for us in heaven but that we are eagerly hoping for and anticipating His arrival! It is for that reason that I cannot more heartily recommend the book.

In Him,
Uriah

Andrew J. is the founder of Into the Book and keeps the site up and running. He is an avid reader and loves to write as well as read new books. He is a part of the Rebelution movement, a teenage rebellion against low expectations.

2 comments:

  1. I agree. But if we weren't a pearl of great price to God, then he wouldn't be a pearl of great price to us. We could care less about his arival and would actualy not be able to live together in harmony if he didn't care about us.

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  2. Exactly right, I agree with you Josiah. God does care for us and look after us, but God should be valued in our eyes. It can't be an all-get relationship. Granted, we can never love God as purely or fully as he loves us but we can seek to imitate Him.

    In Him,
    Uriah

    P.S. Por favor faz um cheque nas tuas palavras antes de fazer um comment. Voce escreveu 'arival' e 'actualy'. Obrigado!

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