Last fall when my mentor and I sat down to choose a study book, she recommended Dancing in the Desert by Marsha Crockett. I hadn’t heard of this book before, so of course I had to Google it. Turns out it’s out of print, but pretty easy to get on Amazon. It’s all about what God can teach us when we feel like we’re in a spiritual desert, and Marsha specifically address different types of deserts, like loneliness, loss, and even routine.
After spending about five months working through it a chapter at a time, I can say it was a very good recommendation! There were some things I agreed with more than others, but Marsha looked at some things in a way I hadn’t ever thought of. It was very thought-provoking.
Each chapter focuses on a specific desert and what we can learn while we’re in it. They begin with short sections that are meant to prepare the reader for the lessons to follow. These sections usually include a passage of scripture and something to meditate or pray on. There are little “Rest Stops” along the way, with thought-provoking questions to answer – very helpful if you’re studying the book and need a good place to break up a chapter over several days. Chapters end with a paraphrased Bible story, usually from the point of view of a character in the story. It’s really not meant to be done in one sitting; there were a few times when I didn’t keep up on the lessons and had to finish a chapter quickly. I didn’t get nearly as much out of it that way.
The book even includes a guide to journaling in the back. This is something I’ve always found helpful in life, not just when it comes to Bible study or book studies, but I can see how the guide would be great for someone who hasn’t done that before.
Spiritual deserts have always seemed to me to be miserable places. Marsha does a wonderful job of pointing out how they don’t have to be. There’s a lot to be learned even when we feel like things are parched and dry. I can see myself going back to this book frequently and recommending it to others. My mentor even mentioned a few times that she’s had the book for years and gone back to several of the chapters more than once. I’ve already purchased one for my sister!
The next book on our agenda is Fearless by Max Lucado. We just started so it will be a while before I have a review on it, but it’s looking great so far!