still the desert


Still the Desert

[ This song introduces a kind of “Act II” for the Exodus Songs. The songs of Act I chronicle the events of a few days in the story of Israel—the crossing of the Red Sea to the promise of their covenant with God. To watch, listen, read more about each of those songs:

Song 1 – Israel Remember
Song 2 – The Feat of the Sea
Song 3 – Neither Pharaoh nor the Sea
Song 4 – No Hope Remains
Song 5 – Ever Your God

While working on those five songs, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to continue the story. With that thought in mind, I wrote six more songs as a Second Act. The recordings for these six will be demo quality, just enough to get the ideas across. This song is the first of that collection. ]

The song opens Exodus: Act II with reference to God’s day-in, day-out provision of manna and quail for the Israelites throughout their desert journey, recorded in Exodus 16.

I wrote it imagining an elder of the Israelite community exiting his tent early one morning – just another dawn of just another day, nothing special or out of the ordinary. This day is just 1 of the 14,500+ days they will spend in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. Yet, even on this ordinary, unspectacular morning, God’s abundant grace is made evident to those awakened to see it. God has again proven Himself faithful, showering down the manna of his love and mercy. He will again sustain them and carry them through this day, just as He has every other day before it. Whether they know it or not, they will make it through this day only because of God’s provision. No, nothing is extraordinary about the day, except the extraordinary grace of God.

We would do well to learn this same lesson. Not every day brings a tangible victory to celebrate or the highs of a mountain top experience or an audible word from God. In fact, most days don’t. But we are mistaken if we think that means God’s grace is any less potent on those days. Each night we lay our heads back down upon our pillows, we can be sure that we only made it through that day because of the love and mercy and provision of God.

When we learn to gratefully wrap our arms around each day’s daily bread, mindful of Who it is that has provided it, we find the bread transfigured from grain to grace. It gives strength not only to our bodies but also to our souls. For when we receive it in such a way, we find that daily bread carries with it the foretaste of the greater feast that is to come on the day our weary bodies finally find their rest in the Promised Land.

Like the Israelites on their journey, we have not made it home yet. But the wise have learned to give thanks now, to awaken their eyes to see the faithful deliverance of God even on the most ordinary, mundane of days…yes, even in the desert.


Oh children of God,
awaken and see
Once again, God has provided
Our daily bread,
the strength we will need
Awaken and see all He’s given

A brand new day
Yes, still the desert but
with brand new grace
the ground is covered again

O children of God,
freed and well fed
Food freshly fallen from heaven
Awaken and see
Arise and receive
Praise God, who has once again given

A brand new day
Yes, still the desert but
with brand new grace
the ground is covered again

As you gather
the morning manna
You can hear
the glad hosanna
wafting on the wind
The sound of our journey’s end

A brand new day
Yes, still the desert but
with brand new grace
the ground is covered

So, give thanks
Yes, in the desert
For God, by grace,
has delivered
He has delivered again


Words & Music: Bill Wolf
Backing Vocals & Electric Guitar: Brad Campbell