Are you going through what feels like a terrible trial? Something you could not imagine happening. Perhaps something that you have absolutely no control over? Maybe you’ve wondered why God would allow this to happen to you when you’ve been faithfully serving Him for years. This isn’t supposed to happen to Christians, you’ve probably thought.
These are the wildernesses in our lives. The wilderness is a place that seems barren, parched, fearful, absent of God’s presence, and nothing seems to make sense there. It’s a place that makes us realize that we really are not in control as much as we think. It causes us to look, no, rather cling to the One who is. We are forced into a corner that causes us to examine, do we really believe what we say about God's faithfulness.
The Israelites went through a physical wilderness of fiery serpents and scorpions, a dry land absent of water. It was referred to as “the great and terrible wilderness” (v.15). These were God’s chosen people. These were the ones He had set His love upon. Why then would He allow such hard times to befall His beloved? I’m sure they thought they would go from Egypt straight into the Promised Land. They didn’t expect what was next. It was all for a purpose. An end result. One that doesn’t seem possible when in the midst of it. It was ultimately to do “good” for them in the end (v. 16).
Good often comes after a struggle. It’s almost as if everything that would hinder, has to be broken up and dispensed from our lives. And it doesn’t come easily.
Verse 15 states, “He led you through.” It was through the wilderness they were brought low. They were humbled, tested, made hungry, came across fiery serpents, all for the purpose of reshaping their hearts. It was intended to cause Israel to become completely obedient and dependent on God, and worships only Him. Wilderness experiences have a way of concentrating our attention on God alone-removing all the baggage that hinders our relationship with Him. Things we once thought were so important, become unimportant. We see things in a new light. Although we are suffering, our discernment is becoming sharper. The hindrances that dulled our love and seeking after God before, are being pruned off our life. It’s going through that prepares us for the promises.
We will all go through the wilderness, some may be their now. When it seems like there is no end in sight, remember the wilderness was never intended to be a permanent home. It serves as a pathway to your destination. A pathway that includes struggles and pain along the way. But never a permanent home. God will not leave you there. He WILL take you through.
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