Reflecting on "Desert Song"
Featuring Charlene Witt Posted on July 29, 2008
The newly released Hillsong Album, "This Is Our God" is a collection of beautiful songs that have come from the deepest caverns of people’s trials and journeys with God and has captured the heart of who Christ is in us. This album is another that will lead the global church in cutting edge worship, with such powerful songs such as Desert Song.
I had been asked to comment a little bit on Desert Song. This song has become an anthem for me. My "lifesong" if you will. The first time I heard it, I was able to identify with the cry of Jill’s heart.
I am a mother of two beautiful children, 3½ and 2. My youngest, a son, was born a healthy little guy…full of wonder in his eyes and with much strength. When you have a child, you dream for them, you have great expectations on what they will be able to achieve and do in life. And, you wait in expectancy for those things to play out. That is the fun of being a parent.
At three months old, my growing boy started to have seizures. We spent many weeks in and out of hospital trying not only to control them but to find a reason to explain them. As you can imagine, our world was shattered. The unknown was closing in all around us. In the months preceding the first seizures, he developed a condition called Infantile Spasm Disorder. This is a chaotic brain rhythm, which can be detrimental to development if not contained. We were able to control these luckily with medication. In the meantime, it was found that our son had an area of abnormality in his right frontal lobe. Thus a reason for the seizures. At ten months, he underwent neurosurgery to remove this portion of his brain.
After surgery we had three months seizure free and since that time two other periods of time where he was seizure free. However, to this day, he still has periodical seizures and his development is very delayed. The feeling of the doctors is that there are other areas that they cannot find that are abnormal as well. So from what the doctors see, this may be the way things look for him.
I tell you this from a very clinical standpoint, so that you can understand the facts. But, I have a much bigger investment with the Great Physician. I put my trust in Him not in man. I am thankful for the provision of doctors and for the favour in our treatment thus far. But I choose every day, to believe that this is a season. A season for growth, a season for trust and even a season of discomfort. But out of this season, and throughout our journey, God had still remained God.
Did I expect my life to look this way? Certainly not. However, I accept this path. And I can honestly tell you, that every day I choose to count it all joy. Does that strength come from within myself? No, it comes from the One who gives me what I need for today. I stand today with a faith that is strong enough to move mountains. Strong enough to keep me from becoming a puddle on the floor. Strong enough to face the giants of fear and to battle the unknown. My son will be well. I stand on God’s promise for that. Do I crumble at times? Of course I do, I am human. This is hard, but it is in those times, that I pick myself up and say “Thank You, Jesus for being with me in this dessert, in this dry land. I will sing Your Praises. In spite of my circumstances, in spite of what I see with my human eyes today. In spite of how disappointed I feel. I will worship You.” That is my sole purpose here in this life, to worship. We will be victorious in Christ. He is our Conqueror and we are victorious in Him. This may be a refining process and for that I am fully accepting.
In the song "Desert Song", I love the line that says "I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ". But my favourite part is where it proclaims:
All of My Life,
In every Season,
You are still God,
I have a reason to sing,
I have a reason to worship
That is it, people. In spite of it all, will we choose to sing? Will we still worship Him? Well, for me, it is a resounding "Yes!" Sometimes, it has been the hardest thing to do, to open my mouth and proclaim the promises that I have a hard time understanding and at times, believing. But honestly, the peace, the joy and the strength that has come from that sacrifice, is why I am here today. I still hope, I still believe and I still stand because God honours my persistence, especially in the hardest times. We will see victory over this situation. Even in this desert, "refine me Lord through the flame."
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