Reframing the Wilderness
If your email is anything like mine, it is full of companies sending you offers for their products, and every once in a while, a Nigerian King asks for your social security number so that he can bless you with $1,000,000. So today, I wanted to put something different into your email. How about a bit of encouragement?
Over these past few years, I have felt like we have been walking in a wilderness. Life just shut down, and we all became isolated. We were striving to get back to normal. But what if the wilderness was not a bad thing? What if in our “trying to get back to normal,” we missed what God was trying to teach us in the wilderness? Take a look at Deuteronomy 8:2-4,
“2 Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. 3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 For all these forty years, your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell.”
Let me give you three observations from this passage…
A wilderness is a time of preparation- The wilderness prepared Jesus. Before He was healing and turning water into wine, Jesus found himself in the wilderness with Satan. What about the rough around the edges, John the Baptist? He spent his ministry preaching in the Judean wilderness. In Deuteronomy, the Lord used the wilderness to humble the Israelites, test their character, and determine if they would obey his commandments. Before the promised land, there had to be a place of preparation. Has God used the wilderness season to prepare you?
The wilderness is a time of provision- Being in the wilderness is a time when the things we cling to go away. How much did we lose over these past two years? How much did God provide for you? He gives, and He takes away. Vs. 4 says, “For all these forty years, your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell.” God provided even in the small things. And with every provision, their faith grew. How has God provided for you during the wilderness season?
The wilderness is a time where you experience God’s presence- God went before them as a cloud by day and fire by night. Vs. 1 says, ‘The Lord led you THROUGH the wilderness.” The promise of His presence. He goes with us through the wilderness. How has God been present in this wilderness season?
The bad news: We will all go through the wilderness. The good news: A wilderness season is a place of preparation, provision, and His presence.