Sunday, 01 August 2021

M Michele's Musings

Springs in the Desert

Recently I was reading scripture from the Living Bible when I stumbled across an intriguing statement in Genesis 36: 24 set in the middle of a genealogy list.  “The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.”   I often read things in the Bible that make me think “Why did God put that in there?”  The Bible was written by men inspired by God and I believe that everything written in the Word of God has a point even if I don’t get it at that time.  The Word of God is full of many faceted sides and there is a depth that no one will ever fully understand until we stand with Him in eternity.

“This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.”   Such a simple sentence seemingly just stuck in the middle of a list of names.  Anah discovered hot springs in the desert or wilderness.  The springs were found while he was grazing his father’s donkeys.   In this scripture we have Anah performing the duties of a faithful son.  It is interesting that he was grazing Donkeys.  Donkeys have long been a symbol of stubbornness.  These creatures are not always the easiest to control and care for.  Yet, we find Anah being faithful to the duties his father gave him even though difficult.  Perhaps we have found ourselves in difficult situations where God has asked us to love the unlovable, the “donkeys” in our life.  Be assured that one day your faithfulness to God’s call will bear fruit.  Galatians 6:9 tells us, “Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

The desert or wilderness is symbolic of dryness, harshness and lifelessness.    How many times do we feel as if we are going through a desert or wilderness experience even though we are being faithful to God’s calling in our life?  Maybe we have found ourselves in a “wilderness” situation in the midst of our obedience to our heavenly Father.  Sometimes obedience to God can seem like a desert or wilderness when we don’t see change or results from our obedience.  The story of Anah is a “picture” of just what God wants to do in the wilderness of our lives.  He wants to send hot springs of life, refreshing and healing into the dry and parched places we find ourselves in. 

Hot springs have long symbolized life giving and healing properties.  Water is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit and of cleansing.  How wonderful to find water in the midst of the desert!  Directly after Hurricane Rita I remember that we did not have water for eight long days.  It was just awful.  We received ice and drinking water from different organizations and we traveled far and wide for running water to cleanse ourselves.  I had three baths during that time in three different homes that had running water.  When I reached that longed for water it was the most refreshing experience in my life.  Since that time I have decided that I can live without a lot of things but not water!   Anah found water in the midst of a dry and barren place.  Finding refreshment and cleansing in the midst of our wilderness experience is a wonderful thing.  God sends His Holy Spirit to work miracles in our hearts and lives bringing refreshing, cleansing and healing.

The name Anah means “Answer.”  Was Anah searching for answers while in obedience to his father?   Did he find himself in the desert in obedience to his father as a good son but searching continually for a new life?   The name Zibeon means “Iniquity that Dwells and/or Robber.”  Was Anah’s father a man beset in his sins?  Was Anah in a dry and barren place because of the sins of his father?  Often we find ourselves in dry and barren places because of our own sin or the sins of others.  All of us have suffered because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  We all have sin in our lives that needs to be cleansed by the precious Blood of the Lamb of God.   Satan is a robber.  John 10:10a  says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”  He does not want us to find new life in Christ.  He wants us to stay in those dry, barren places where iniquity dwells.  When we find ourselves in these places do we search for answers?  Do we search for God?  Do we cry out to Him for new life?   John 10:10b says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  God is right there waiting for your call so that He can give you the answers you need in your dry and barren place.

We should be like Anah; obedience should be a mark of integrity in our lives even if it leads us to hard places.  God led Jesus into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil.  But, Jesus stood firm in His obedience to God and in the surety of God’s Word.  Satan failed in his plan to make Jesus stumble.   The devil left Jesus and angels came and ministered to Him.  Obedience to God should be alive within us even if it means working with difficult people, those ‘donkeys’ in our lives.   We may be God’s ‘Plan A’ to bring Jesus (light, hope, love, life) to a difficult person in our life.  Jesus was obedient even unto death for you and I.  We have been difficult and stubborn people at times and yet He died for us while we were yet sinners.  Like Anah’s namesake, we should search for answers in the midst of our obedience to God.  For He is faithful to send us refreshing waters in the midst of any situation or circumstance we find ourselves walking in.  God truly can bring refreshment, answers, life, love and hope in the midst of our darkest situations.   Trust Him.  “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.”  Isaiah 41:18

Love in Christ, Michele

Columnist: Michele Abshire


Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at



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