A few years ago I watched an episode of one of those survival shows. The gentleman was giving insight on how to survive being faced with the various dangers of the desert. The extreme temperatures, sandstorms, flash floods, etc. It was one of those moments that my spirit recognized that I needed to take some notes... because there is something about the threats of the wilderness that can cause even a seasoned Christian to struggle.
Last night a precious friend shared Scripture on this subject. It is a time that all who come out of Egypt must endure. Even if you have just witnessed miraculous delivery from bondage and the parting of the "Red Sea" of your life to bring you out from where you were, you must face times of wilderness before arriving at the promised destination. Why? Why do we have to go through dry seasons? Why can't we just flow from the miraculous to milk and honey? From mountaintop to mountaintop?
Despite how my flesh is kicking and screaming right now as I type this, I have found that it has been the valley and the desert that have deepened my relationship with the Lord more than the times of "feeling" Him right beside me. While I absolutely cling to those Red Sea moments to encourage my faith, it is in the desert when that faith is truly tested.
Do I love and obey the Lord because I can feel Him? Or will I love and obey Him when I can't?
If this finds you on a mountaintop, praise God. Soak up every moment and enjoy the warmth of the seemingly tangible touch of the Lord. Times of refreshing in Him are incomparable.
If, however, this finds you in the wilderness...keep going. Don't turn from Him when it gets hard. Don't forget what He said to you when you could hear Him clearly. Faith has the ability to grow when it is tested, so don't seek an early departure from this season.
Remember that He has given you living water that becomes a spring welling up within you...no dry season can dehydrate you as long you abide in Him.
Father, the wilderness is necessary, and I am so thankful for Your faithfulness throughout the journey through it. Don't let us give up and get lost there. I trust You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Deuteronomy 8, John 4:13-15, James 1:3