Have you ever gone through a period of time where you felt like you were separated from the rest of humanity? I am not talking about an inconvenient situation, for example, when you accidentally lock your keys inside the car or have a flat tyre on the highway at night. What I am talking about are those moments when you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Times where the situation looks so bad that your hands seem tied, no earthly person can help you and you cannot do anything to change the situation. As desperation knocks, hope begins to fade away. You start to feel like a caged animal being poked and provoked by onlookers. If this is how you are feeling. then you must know that you are officially in the wilderness.
In the, wilderness God will sever all lifelines. But do not worry; it is all by design.
Several times in the bible we see God using the wilderness experience to refine His people. Jacob was led into the wilderness to “wrestle with God”. The Israelites, 40 years in the wilderness. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, and the Apostle Paul spent 3 years in the wilderness.
The wilderness is a place where God feels far away, distant, absent and unresponsive. Faith feels uncertain, we feel alone, vulnerable, lost and unprotected. There is fear of hopelessness and the unknown. Honestly, it feels like a place where Satan dwells. I have been through this season, for what seems like forever: Encouraging myself every day that my present will soon be my past. I have spent countless days with my back against the wall. By nature, I like to make things happen, I love to fight and have never been comfortable sitting back and letting life happen to me. So during my wilderness experience, things had to be done differently. As I willingly submit to the purging process of the wilderness experience, I realize that I needed a distraction, a project or anything to divert my attention from “this”. Like a caged animal, I have spent some time thinking my options are very limited. So I decided to focus on what I still have, my heart, my mind and my voice. My heart is not imprisoned, my mind is not caged, and my voice is definitely not silenced.
So are you going through the wilderness experience? Are circumstances restricting you from doing certain things? Does hope seem lost? Does it seem as if things will remain “this” way forever? Do you feel forsaken by man, or even by God sometimes? His word says He will never leave us nor forsake us. God in the book of Jeremiah 2 v 6 The Massage translation says it is “a land that no one who enters comes out of.” But God led the children of Israel through that place. The wilderness just like the valley in Psalm 23, it is not our dwelling place, we go through such places. It is a place characterised by great trials and tests. We can only survive it if we put our trust in God and rely on His word.
As Andrea crouch will say:
Through it all, through it all
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus
I’ve learned to trust in God
Through it all, through it all
I’ve learned to depend upon His word