Updated: Aug 26
This past Spring when I thought promises were coming to fruition and seeds were beginning to bloom, the Lord led me to a season of Cherith. This has been an intense and overwhelming chapter of life, but nonetheless, this is the place I truly found who I am and whose I am.
“Go from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan [River]." 1 Kings 17:3
It was a beautiful Spring afternoon outside a well-known coffee shop when I shared heartache and disappointment with a sweet friend who spoke of her own season in this barren place of complete surrender and trust. I thought, "ugh, I do not want to go there!" After taking her advice on a book by Priscilla Shirer to read, I rushed to Mardel to purchase the book as well as a new bible. My heart needed to hear God's voice in a way I had not and as a dedicated journaler, my bible was full of all the things I have been praying for and declaring. Those things I do believe were still God's plans and decrees. But in this moment, the Lord was calling me to take my eyes off my plans, my dreams, my desires and put them on His. HIS WORD was all I could rely on and all I hungered for.
While in Mardel, God confirmed this detoured path in a way only he can. I searched through every shelf that held a bible and could not find the perfect one, at least not what I had my heart set on. I got tired of looking so I decided to find the book about Elijah and when I could also not find that on my own I asked for help from an employee. She led me to the book but it was a study-and I thought no, I don't think this is it. But I opened it, and I opened it directly to the section labeled in big letters: Cherith! After this I went back to search for a bible and on a bottom shelf my eyes caught this hand painted beautiful cover. The brush strokes of pink and blue hues with hints of gold and no exact design or aesthetic called my name as if it was a reflection of everything in my heart. We often don't see the beauty of the unknown as our hearts settle in anxiety where every detail drawn to perfection is more of what we crave. Yet, I could see the beauty in the abstract bible-this unfiltered masterpiece-holding in my hand the pieces of something unseen and unknown.
I got home and sat down to look at these new items that God gave me as we rerouted our plans. As someone who enjoys and believes in the meaning of words, numbers, colors, all the things and how God uses them in every day life to reveal His heart and insight of Heaven, I decided to look up what this Cherith place even was. Because to be honest, I had no idea.
(I asked God for a tangible picture of my Cherith while on a weekend retreat-this was it!)
The meaning of Cherith is:
a cutting; a separation; winter stream
There's that word winter again! I didn't fully understand because God was speaking of the winter season being over and the barren places bursting with beauty. How could this be? Why am I here? Well, one answer to that is some words we get are for that exact moment and some are for other appointed times. In the spirit realm it may not be Spring yet although in the natural we see it.
"Elijah fed by the Ravens" is also what popped up in google as I searched this foreign place. And so I go to open my new artisan bible and for fun (because I know you do this too) decided to turn to where the gold bookmark rested in between the crisp pages. Maybe God would speak something specific! And so, I opened the bible to where the gold bookmark was placed, and my eyes went immediately to 1 Kings 17 with a title that read:
"Elijah fed by the Ravens"
Yes! That really happened! God speaks and shows and is constantly with us each day ready to reveal mysteries, secrets, wonderful things! And He ALWAYS confirms His Word, because let's be honest-we don't always act or respond to what He says and He is such a good God that He will not let us miss it!
I knew then, that while this was definitely not the place or season I saw coming or wanted to be in, He made it clear that this was necessary. I had to surrender and let things from the past even good things like my hopes and dreams be cut away so that He and only He could make things NEW!
What a hard process it has been-my season of Cherith. Quiet. Solitude. Loneliness. Rest. Resilience. Strengthening. I am just rounding up this 4 month season. A season of silence at times. I learned at the end of April when my back was against the wall that nothing that I could say, do, or actually even pray in this moment was going to change someone else’s heart. The struggle was intense. Emotionally I had moments where I just wasn’t okay. But after the back and forth between what I know God said and what was being presented to me, deep deep down I still felt hopeful. I still felt myself believe that God could do the impossible. The Bible is full of impossibilities. Pages and pages of suffering proceeding celebration. Miracles, signs and wonders. Even when my dreams felt crushed and my lungs gasped for air, I knew that God could still perform His Word. Now I didn’t just supernaturally become okay all of a sudden. It took being fed daily by the ravens at this bittersweet brook hidden from all I had hoped for. And through the daily provision of a God who Sees, the hurt and hardened parts of me began to break away as healing and wholeness filled my lungs and set my heart and feet free to move without the restrictions and limits my own expectations and ideas kept me bound in. In the hidden place, a slow-flowing stream and meat and bread from the unlikely is where I found freedom.
"You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to sustain you there with food. 5 So he went and did in accordance with the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he would drink from the brook."
1 Kings 17:4-6
What is so fascinating about this scripture you ask? First of all, ravens are not really the kind of birds you want to be fed by every day. They are not the cleanest birds. But the beauty in this, and the symbolism is that ravens represent provision! God was essentially saying that Elijah would have everything he needed because God is Jehovah Jireh- the God who provides!
And can I tell you something? As I sat at this winter-stream, the ravens were faithful to come! God has revealed so much about who I am as His Bride. There have been some not so great things broken off of me in this barren and foreign land, yet there has also been a refreshing. My faith has gone to an entirely new level, one where security and trust surround me instead of fear and anxiety.
My heart is truly at rest and peace as I continue to wait upon the Lord.
His Word does not return void. (Isaiah 55:1)
My sweet friend that led me to this land called Cherith- she was right! While she grieved with me at the circumstances I faced-her spirit was excited! She knew God would meet me in the hiddenness. And He did- He really did!
And more good news......the brook has dried up!
"It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land." 1 Kings 17:7
And how does my soul find rest in this? I look around and see a summer of drought in Texas, oh but I can hear the sound of rain!
A Prayer at Cherith
Lord. let my heart glean in this place that feels foreign for you have not forgotten me. While the world shouts we are to be seen, I find rest in knowing that I am seen by a God of love and compassion. You are a God of peace and comfort. You are the greatest reward, Jesus. My soul takes delight in you, even in the barren place and at the winter-stream. I ask that you would cut away the old and breathe new life into me for today and my new season. I praise your name in even the darkest moments. You are there. You have gone before me and made the way. I will rest. I will listen. I will follow you and I will love you all the days of my life. I wait on you as I wait for the rain, the sound of heaven and of your faithfulness. Jesus, you are everything and without you I have nothing. Thank you for being willing and loving me so much to lead me into a necessary season preparing me for all that is to come. Thank you for providing. Thank you for healing. And thank you for setting me FREE!
"If Elijah had a playlist at Cherith"
"Decided" Kristine DiMarco
"Closer to God" Anne Wilson
"Take Me There" Anna Golden
"Your Nature" The Belonging Co. featuring Kari Jobe
"Dancing" Elevation Worship featuring Joe L. Barnes and Tiffany Hudson
"Real Thing" Maverick City Music featuring Dante Bowe
"Wouldn't It Be Like You" Bryan and Katie Torwalt
"Firm Foundation (He Won't) Maverick City Music featuring Chandler Moore and Cody Carnes
"Gratitude" Brandon Lake
"Let It Be So" Kirby Kaple
"You" Davy Flowers
"Gonna Be Alright' Ryan Ellis
"Teach Me To Dance" Jervis Campbell
"Canvas and Clay" (King of My Heart) Trible & Maverick City Music
"Sound Mind" Bryan and Katie Torwalt
"Love Note" UPPERROOM
"So Close" Brandon Lake & Amanda Cook
"Breathe/What A Friend I've Found" Hillsong Worship
"Still God" Anna Golden
"Thin" Housefires featuring Kirby Kaple
"Let It Happen" United Pursuit featuring Andrea Marie
“Honey in the Rock” Hillsong
"Too Good To Not Believe" Brandon Lake
"Back To The Beginning" Dara Maclean
"You Saved Me" UPPERROOM
"Jireh" Maverick City Music