The little farm we had years ago had some pasture, a pond and lots of woods. It was a thick wooded jumble of trees, briars and vines. We put our mobile home in the edge of those woods. I was constantly out in the yard pulling those vines and trimming the underbrush. I stayed busy. It was great therapy when the days were long out in the middle of nowhere. The past weekend’s retreat was about braving the wilderness and I know much about that subject. I’ve been in the wilderness where our home stood and I’ve been in the wilderness of spiritual seasons as well.
I can say with assurance the wilderness isn’t always a bad place to be. As David was in the wilderness, it says in I Samuel that David remained in the wilderness and God kept David safe from Saul. Your wilderness is the perfect place to hide yourself in Christ and let the Lord of heaven and earth pour into your heart and mind the things you need for life and godliness.
Oh beloved, the best antidote for depressing thoughts while you’re out in the middle of nowhere is to find something for your hands and mind to do. All of life’s most excruciating events are temporary – God calls them “momentary, light afflictions”. While that may sound like He doesn’t care, He is just reminding you and me that we are going through the wilderness and it’s TEMPORARY. Don’t stay there. Don’t let the vines overtake your heart and mind. Don’t allow the enemy to fix your eyes on the problems. Instead allow the wilderness to be a catalyst to focus yourself more on Jesus, who as the Author and Finisher of your faith, will take you through. Sometimes we forget while in the wilderness that there is green pasture right there. Feed on the Lord’s provisions and cultivate your belief. God will work this mess out to your good and most of all His glory. That’s what we live for as believers anyway. We don’t live for ourselves – spending all our time wishing the brush would clear itself. We spend time working through the maze of what is to find what really is. You, beloved, are stronger than you thought and as you fill yourself with the Word of God, prayer and truth, you will come out of the wilderness with more beauty and composure, poise and peace than you ever had before.
God loves you and He’s for you. He wants you to gather yourself up close to Him this morning. He wants you to repeat these words “I am a woman of the Promised Land even if I am going through a wilderness.” He says that remembering who you are will keep you moving when the enemy wants you to wander hopelessly. Speaking the Truth out loud right in the middle of your mess makes it transform into a message to our heart and eventually to someone else’s. Rejoice that you get to brave the wilderness all the way to freedom because you have the Light and the Word of God for every single day of your life.
I Samuel 23:14 David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.
Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
Matthew 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching.
Isaiah 35:6 The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland.
Psalm 103:4-5 [He] redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; [He] satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.