Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth ; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert…Isaiah 43:19
It seems that it is God’s good pleasure to continue to allow me to journey through a season of wilderness. A season of wandering in the desert. Of isolation. It’s been three years since I began this journey.
It’s not my first journey here, but it does seem to be my longest yet. Desert wanderings are always hard. Just like a physical desert our lives feel barren and hostile. It can be a desolate place, exposed and unprotected. We often are left feeling isolated from kindred sisters, friends and acquaintances.
It’s interesting to me that when we journey through the wilderness each must journey alone. Yes, there are others here, but each have their own road to walk. And while we can share, support and encourage others in their wanderings we each must focus on our own lessons that God has for us here.
I have learned that there are 4 things to remember while traveling through the wilderness.
Do not compare: We can not compare our walk with others. No two will ever be the same. Comparing our wilderness journey only brings discontentment, discouragement and bitterness.
- Do not rush: We must also be careful that we do not try to rush through the journey. The time we spend here is never wasted. God has a reason for our time here and we must remember that sometimes the journey could take days and other times it may be years. Rest in the knowledge that God’s timing is always perfect.
- Stay nourished: When traveling through the wilderness or desert we need to remember to stay hydrated. The plants that survive in the desert grow very deep taproots in order to soak up as much water as possible. In fact many will grow to be more than 100 feet and have a huge networks of toots that spread out in all directions. The believer stays nourished in the desert by growing strong roots in the word of God.
- Look for joy: There is much beauty to be seen and tasted in the wilderness. It may be a bit harder to see, but if you look for the blessings you will see them. You will experience the joy that can come from your desert journey. Joy comes when we remember that God knows about and sees our journey. He is with you through every step and He will meet your needs.
We all will experience a season of walking in the wilderness and feeling isolated. Let us remember that it isn’t always a bad thing. It’s not always due to sin. Often it’s in the wilderness that we learn and grow to rely even more on our God. It’s here that we learn that He truly is sufficient for every part of our lives. So if you find yourself in a dry, isolated desert then seek God with an even greater thirst. Stay in the word and keep your eyes on Jesus.
If you are not in a desert place then prepare for the time that you will by growing your roots deep into the word of God.
He changes rivers into a wilderness And springs of water into a thirsty ground ; fruitful land into a salt waste, Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. He changes a wilderness into a pool of water And a dry land into springs of water ; And there He makes the hungry to dwell, So that they may establish an inhabited city, And sow fields and plant vineyards, And gather a fruitful harvest. Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly, And He does not let their cattle decrease. Psalms 107:33-38
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done ; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”‘Deut 2:7