“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” Isaiah 55:8
The wilderness. What is the wilderness experience with God? It’s always been, in my life, a time where it feels as if I am going around and around in circles and getting absolutely nowhere.
The wilderness is a place where God sent people who would one day lead others. Jesus of course spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness. Moses was sent to “the dark side of the mountain” during his wilderness experience. In both of these cases the wilderness experience was not due to disobedience by Jesus or Moses. In those cases they listened to God, learned to grow closer to God and developed the character they would need to sustain their calling.
The wilderness is where God sent the backsliding, complaining and doubting Israelites for forty years. That was their own fault and the forty years there was no fun I am sure.
In my case I have had wilderness experiences that I brought on myself through disobedience to God. I have had wilderness experiences where God fed into my spirit and taught me to trust only Him and develop a character that was strong enough to hold on to Him regardless of what happened. Those experiences were used to teach others how to do the same.
It’s amazing to me that a lot of wilderness experiences follow times of high mountain top experiences. You are on top of the world, perhaps have a new baby, a new home, a promotion, got married, bought the car you always wanted and then BOOM, out of the blue something happens to wake you up from your pride. Something happens that shakes your soul to the core, and there you are again. You are back in the wilderness with daddy God asking Him, “Why, why now?”
What you learn, as a believer, really quickly in the wilderness is that you are not as alone as you think you are. God is there with you. You get to know Him in a way that you would never had experienced Him had this thing that put you back in the wilderness never happened.
There is a purpose for the wilderness experiences of life. They increase our faith because one way or another God moves us out of the wilderness experiences and sets our feet on solid ground again.
After awhile you will be amazed at how calm you can remain when these circumstances of life, that are not pleasant, blind sight you. A peace will come over you that surrounds your whole being and you know that God is with you and, even though you don’t know how, you know that He is going to work this thing out to your benefit. So you relax, you say, “God, I don’t know how you are going to do it, but I do know you are going to work it all out for my good.”
The sooner you come to terms with God doing all things that happen in your life for your GOOD, the sooner you come out of the wilderness and back into your promised land.
Not everyone has perfect children, a perfect job, and a sweet loving family, a lovely home and financial security. You are fooling yourself when you compare your life to someone like that. They have had, or will have, wilderness experiences too. There is not a Christian who truly walks with God who is not tested!
Years ago I had a neighbor who I would look at in envy. God had to really deal with me about that envious spirit. But one day in prayer I said to God, as a fairly new Christian, “How come you never let anything bad happen to ********?” Clear as a bell God spoke to me, “You were not there in her childhood. She had the most horrific childhood you could imagine. You have no idea what she went through! She has suffered more there anyone you know. What I do with my other children should be of no concern of yours! Everyone has a story, you just don’t know them all!”
Believe it when I tell you that God has a purpose for every thing we go through. We may never know the purpose. Sometimes in life we do get to look back and say, “Oh, God if I had not experienced that terrible time I would not know what to do to help this person, or what to say. I would not have compassion for that person had I not been through the same thing.”
I don’t know it all, and I won’t tell you I do. I know my Father God through. I know He loves me and I know that He uses the wilderness experiences to bring us to the hilltops!
In His Unconditional Love,