I am going to start this blog with a statement: The wilderness of life (there can be more than one) is a transition place, not a place we pitch our tent, put down roots, and stay forever, lest we die. You never have to know where I stand do you? Allow me to elaborate.
In the natural, a wilderness is dry, has very little usable food and water and no shelter from the elements for the most part. It may be beautiful; it may not be. In any case, we are usually alone in a natural wilderness taking in the sites for a short while and then moving on. An emotional/spiritual life wilderness is the same with the exception of beauty, this “wilderness” is not beautiful at all. In this type of wilderness, you are alone, there is also nothing and no one to lift you up, no shelter from pain, and no good food or water for your soul. These are bleak places, yet places familiar to Jesus, places He has been. You arrive in an emotional/spiritual life wilderness alone, but you do not have to stay alone. What stands out about this wilderness is what you choose to do with your time there.
We have two choices in the wilderness of life. We can choose to allow Jesus to meet us in the wilderness, heal us, and transition us to a new life outside of that place; OR we can choose to go it alone, pitch our tent, and eat and drink of bitter pain until we are consumed by the same. We can use the wilderness as a learning and growing experience OR we can use it fall further and further into self-doubt, victimhood, and bitterness. Bitterness eventually kills a human being through and through. Which choice sounds better to you? I would pick growth, learning, and healing any day over self-doubt, victimhood, bitterness, and death. I have seen too many people today drinking and eating of the fruit and water of bitterness; pitching their tents in a wilderness that was never designed to be their home. They are stuck and they do not even see it! This breaks my heart!
Hosea 2:14-15; But then I will win her (him) back once again. I will lead her (him) into the desert (wilderness) and speak tenderly to her (him) there (to comfort and heal). There I will give her (him) the vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [ meaning troubling] to be for her (him) a door of hope and expectation. And she (he) shall sing there and respond as in the days of her (his) youth…”– emphasis my own
You may be asking yourself, “Did I just read that correctly? Did that just say that He (Jesus) will lead us into the wilderness?” Not exactly. By the time we choose to let Jesus meet us in the wilderness, we have been there awhile already on our own, plodding along, feeling sorry for ourselves or worse. What this verse says to us is that Jesus will then take the lead (if we let Him) and he will comfort and heal us (if we let Him). He will then lead us out of the wilderness into a place of life, hope and expectation.
I have personally experienced the wilderness and life after the wilderness. They are starkly different. I would tell you that life after transition is better than life in the wilderness. Jesus has spent the last 6 years doing this for me and with me (He will not do it without our consent). Was it easy? No. Was it all worth it? Yes! Did it come with a cost to my pride and self-focus? Yes! Pride and self-focus are always worth giving up for healing and freedom, always!
Where are you today? Where do you want to be? Are you willing to lay down your pride and self-focus? Are you willing to walk with King Jesus and let him lead you out of your wilderness, into healing? Have you had enough of the bitter food and water of pain? Only you can answer these questions. Only you can decide what will happen in your wilderness. Only you can take down your tent and start your journey toward the healing lands.
What do you choose?