Most of us have been through the wilderness a time or two, have we not? For Christ followers, this often means going through a time of spiritual drought, distance from God, lack of direction, uncertainty and even doubting our faith.
At my ladies Bible study group the other day the subject of John the Baptist’s time in the wilderness arose. One of the ladies started a conversation going about how the wilderness might actually be a good place to spend some time. As the conversation developed around the table a lot of thoughts about the wilderness were thrown around which made me think of the wildernesses we go through in a much different light.
- When the Jewish people were in the wilderness they were provided for in every way, food, clothing, even direction, with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
- The Jewish people were absolutely showered with God’s grace and mercy in the wilderness as, even with their complaining, He answered their prayers time and time again.
- The wilderness can be a place of intense heat where impurities are purged, resulting in purer gold.
- The wilderness can be a place of intense pressure. Diamonds are created under this kind of pressure.
- A wilderness can be a place of growing our faith and our reliance on God. When we can’t see our way out and admit we are powerless, it becomes easier to submit to God.
- The wilderness can be a place of transition, a training period for new things, even a promotion in ministry.
- Spiritual warfare is learned in the wilderness. It is where Jesus was compelled or driven to, to be tempted by Satan and to overcome!
- The wilderness can be a place of resting in God and allowing Him to shower us with His love.
The Bible is filled with examples of people whom God brought through the wilderness, not to make their lives difficult, but to prepare them for something greater. Ex. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Jacob, David, Paul, even Jesus.
So while most of us wouldn’t consciously choose to go into the wilderness, it is a place that sometimes God calls us to. It may be the only place He can fully get our attention. It may be a time to receive fresh revelation or insight. It may be a time to be broken and realize that there is power in brokenness. Hopefully, we can rest in knowing that no matter where our wilderness leads us, God is in control, He loves us with an everlasting love, and His desire is always to make something better of our lives.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.