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Back to Backwards

In this week’s chapter of Fight Back with JoyMargaret Feinberg takes us on a journey in the Old Testament, Judges 1:12-15 to be precise. The woman in the story is given a desert for a portion, but then goes back to her father to ask for springs, which he then gives her.

The application here is simple. You may inherit a dry, barren place; but it doesn’t mean you have to die there. Go back and ask for refreshing and life-giving water.

A prayer for springs in the desert is a request to discover the fullness of life even when facing trouble and difficulty. When Jesus said He came that we might have life to the full, He spoke of that which covered the gamut of human experience–joy and sorrow, gain and loss, pleasure and pain. Such fullness depends on Christ, the Living Water, to grow us in the likeness of God, to expand our hearts, to water our deserts. Our days may not be easy, but they are always full when lived in Christ. –Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy

Back side of woman standing with hands behind head.You may think I’m weird, but I’m okay with that. Several times yesterday I put on an article of clothing backwards. My gym shorts, my shirt–I kept noticing it so I asked God if He was saying something to me in it.

When a piece of clothing is on backwards, you’re covered but it doesn’t fit right. In the case of pants, it’s not as functional because the pockets are hard to get into. It’s just off until you turn it around.

I feel like that with this principle in some ways. I want the springs without first visiting the desert and recognizing the need. And then I don’t want to ask for it. I would rather it just be available. God hasn’t left me uncovered or to figure it out myself, but I have to make the choice to turn it around so that I’m facing the right direction.

Interesting that we are meditating on these things leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The desert came first. Death came first then resurrection.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. –John 10:10

It never occurred to me that sometimes you have to ask for the life more abundantly.

He is there to give it just as He promised, but we’re often stolen from and beaten down. We face a desert of uncertainty and a future that makes us want to despair.

Do you pretend and say you have abundant life? Or do you humble yourself and ask for it when you don’t feel like it’s there–or even available?

This is something close to me right now. I’ve been assigned a desert, but I’m determined to ask my Father for springs. I don’t ask because I think I deserve an “easy” life, but because I know He’s a good Father and He delights in blessing.

What do you think? When you’re in a desert, do you think to ask for springs? Or do you tend to try to wait it out (or get out of there)? 

fbwj-buttonWelcome to week 9 of our discussion of Fight Back with Joy (disclosure) by Margaret Feinberg. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts and the widget to add your post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!


  1. Well, prior to reading this book I’d say that I tried to gut it out in the desert (not to be confused with dessert) waiting for the springs.

    To be honest somehow despite having read it, I never noticed this OT story before. And if I did, I missed the meaning and ability to relate to it.

    I too am in a desert, as you probably already know, and am seeking God in that place rather than using all of my energy to escape it. Well, at least I am most days. There are still moments when I want to panic and run looking for an oasis. When that happens I don’t get very far.

    Hang in there, Jason, and let’s seek God’s abundance where we are!

    • I like that--gut it out in the dessert. That wouldn’t be so bad! 🙂 I know you’re right and I feel it (most of the time). I want to know Him and experience Him where I am. His goodness doesn’t always look like what I think it will, but He is good nonetheless. Thanks for the encouragement. Much appreciated and needed! Blessings to you, Melinda. Thank you.

  2. I know I’ve said it before, but the older I get the more wisdom it seems to take on. I’m referring to the 23rd Psalm, God doesn’t always take us around the valleys. Sometimes He marches us right smack through the middle of it to build our faith and show the world that seeks to destroy us that He is sovereign over His creation.

    I’ve been in a desert for the last eight years and He’s done miraculous things when the odds have been impossible. Now as it seems to be coming to a close I’m not sure I want it to. The trials have forced me to seek Him and I fear losing that desperation for Him when comfort sets in.

    I get it, Jason. Excellent thoughts. I’m praying for your time in the Valley.

    • May God grant you your request and may you stay hungry whether in desert or abundance. Amen. Thanks so much, Floyd.

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