Do you find yourself in a tough place right now? Perhaps you are dealing with loss, transition, disappointment, uncertainty, or any number of challenges. I relate, being stuck in such a wilderness for some time now.
The wilderness journey of Israel wasn’t a season of spiritual dryness, as some of us might expect of the wilderness. Instead, it was a period of hardship and challenge arising from their circumstances. Israel was literally in a tough place, but God was near.
What incredible blessings they experienced because of the difficulties! Think about them with me.
God himself led them in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. He came to them on Mount Sinai so they wouldn’t forget his greatness. Miracles occurred before their eyes as Yahweh revealed himself as Protector when they crossed the Red Sea and as Provider by raining manna from heaven and gushing water from the rock. God tabernacled right in their midst. What overwhelmingly awesome events! Without the wilderness stripping away everything else from them, they would have never known the power and greatness of God.
Wouldn’t you love to see God move in your life in similar ways? So would I; yet, I am honestly reluctant to experience the accompanying struggles of the wilderness. But unless God strips away the distractions of abundance, success, and busyness, my self-sufficiency conceals his mighty hand and drowns out his still small voice.
By God’s grace I pray that I respond better to the wilderness than God’s ancient people did, that I would–
• Be content and teachable right where God has me, not looking back to what was good in the past and not impatient to get out of here!
• Anticipate great things from God—not despite the obstacles, deprivation, and hardship but because of them as I see his great power, provision, protection, and guidance! (I have already seen him move in great ways.)
• Persevere through this time of testing by constant prayer, daily ingestion of God’s word, and fellowship with his people.
• Grow in awe of God’s greatness and respond with deeper worship.
What wisdom from the wilderness can you share?