Life is a learning experience and how we receive it will determine our outcome. When the Israelites left Egypt where they were enslaved and entered the wilderness — God was with them for all forty years! The wilderness was not what they thought it was going to be. It was a barren wilderness with no food or water. They had to wait on God to rain down manna before they could eat, and they had to wait on God to provide them with water… and God didn’t function on their schedule.
Because of the Exodus, and the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites thought that since they were God’s chosen people they assumed God was predictably predictable, and that He would even exceed their expectations! But that was not the case — so the wilderness was a complete shock to them! “How can God do this to us? He is not at all what we expected! We don’t want this God! we are also inclined to think that God is mad at us or has forgotten us. In the wilderness, we learn to trust God, and to believe in His goodness and mercy despite what we are going through. We have to learn to trust that God is still good… that God is for us and not against us even amidst our life situations.
The wilderness forces us to let go of our control, and in the dark night of faith, we let God lead us in the journey to the Promised Land. The experience of the wilderness opens us up to a deeper and more profound faith in God and in His goodness even as we wander through (Hos 2:14-20). It is in the wilderness of life that God betroths Himself to us in such deep intimacy… an intimacy that doesn’t spring from factual knowledge of God, but an intimacy that comes from trusting Him in the midst of a desolate wilderness. Psalms 34:19, Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
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