If you´ve ever driven across the desert, or another desolate area, you have no doubt seen the tumbleweeds blowing along with the wind. I remember “discovering” them when I was a child ~ I was so fascinated that a bush would roll like a ball across the landscape, I watched them until they were out of sight, or we veered around a curve. My dad loved the Sons of the Pioneers, and one of their beautiful songs contained the words “drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.” This thought brings to mind a concept of aloofness could be the sage–colored blowing bushes of the desert, or a lost puppy or a lost soul.
In Psalm 83, Asaph sings a prayer to God regarding the enemies of God. He says, “Make them like tumbleweeds, O my God, like chaff before the wind. As a fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your storm.” (vs 13–15). What I picture here is not one or a few tumbleweeds blowing across the desert in a breeze, but hundreds of them blowing and rolling with gale–force winds piloting their path. Just as the enemies Asaph would have the Lord chase away.
And Isaiah described the desolation of Damascus (chapter 17), recording how the people had forgotten God, their Savior, and “although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when He rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like the chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale.” (vs. 13).
Have you seen, or known people like this? People who are just wandering, with no purpose other than to be carried along by the winds? There may have been a time in our own lives when we had no direction or ambition, just drifting. Some individuals will wander across the country, doing odd jobs, making only enough change to buy their meals, with no destination in mind…just walking without knowing, or caring, where ~ a nomad, a vagabond, carrying all they own on their back in a pack.
Sometimes I feel like a tumbleweed in my own home. I know there is work to be done, but for whatever reason I don’t feel like doing the task, or most times, there is so much I don’t know where to start. Like right now, after the holidays, the looming chore of packing away all the decorations stares me in the face. I’ve done a little at a time, but often feel like a tumbleweed, going from room to room not really wanting to commit to the job. Not wishing to go down and climb up the stairs one more time, my arms laden with boxes.
There are people who are like tumbleweeds when it comes to their spiritual lives. But many times, and to many people, Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Such a simple command. But we make it seem so difficult. Jesus is our example and shows us the kind of life we should live in order to have eternal life, in order to not wander aimlessly through life any longer. If sheep were left to themselves they would be lost in a matter of minutes, and in much danger, because they really are incapable of taking care of themselves. Jesus also said, “I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me.” (Matthew 10:14).
Do you feel lost at times, maybe like you’re just tumbling around in the wind? Jesus says, “Follow Me.” Are you wandering in and out of financial trouble, relationship problems, job situations, or just plain feelings of inadequacy and not having a purpose in life? “Follow Me.” He gives us not empty promises, but has already paid the price for everlasting and abundant life for those of us who will choose to follow Him. He offers compassion and healing for our souls and our bodies. And instead of our wandering, He will carry us over the rough spots in our lives and teach us, and make us whole. We desperately need His constant care and supervision in our lives. If we put our hand in His great and loving hand, we will never be lost again.
From my heart,
Jeanne Stone Helstrom
(Excerpted from “Morning Celebrations”)