Do you currently find yourself in the wilderness?
You’re in good company.
The past six months of my life have been different from the previous few years. For many years now I’ve found myself traveling through lush pastures with flowing springs. I have found a contentment, joy, and abundant life living with Christ. I have enjoyed my children, my husband, and our many, many blessings over the past few years. I enjoy those things still, but I’ve found myself clinging tightly to them and my faith in Jesus as I pass through a desert place in life. I want to face palm at past me wondering why other people can’t find peace in life. As I sashayed through flowery fields I wondered why everyone could not smell the roses like me. Talk about a humbling fall.
So I feel like the past couple of months especially I’ve been transversing through a bit of a dry spell, a valley, if you will. I’ve felt lonely at times, as if I had to really strain to hear God’s voice. It’s been a trying time with many attacks from Satan, and though my husband and I have grown even closer through it, and our faith has strengthened, I’d be lying if I said it was fun. It’s not. The wilderness is never a carefree, enjoyable time. Sure there’s always the joy that comes with being a child of God, but sometimes that’s shadowed by how difficult it is to walk through a storm in life.
The weird thing about walking through a valley is how it seems up and down. It’s like, sometimes you catch a glimpse of the mountain, it gives you that extra burst of adrenaline, and you walk a little faster with your head held high. Other days you wake up and you feel like a Farside cartoon, just dry bones stretched out across the harsh desert floor. Today I found myself in a funk, and wishing to reignite my spirit with hope I dug into God’s word. I’ve been reading through the Gospels lately, and when I began reading Mark these verses leapt off the page
Mark 1 (NIV)
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
What I love about scripture is how it can speak to you at different times in your life, and though I’ve read this before, today I noticed something I had not in prior reading. Here in the beginning of Mark we see Jesus being baptized by his cousin, John. We have all imagined how it must have been when the skies opened and God spoke, “you are my son whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Wow. That is awesome. God speaks to His son and tells Him how proud He is. But check out that verse right after.
At once the spirit sent him out into the wilderness.
It hit me like a ton of bricks today! I have felt like I’m in the wilderness, but I’m in good company. If God sent His own son into the wilderness to be tempted, this son in whom He was well pleased, then shouldn’t I be grateful that I find myself in the same kind of place? God leads us to the places where we might grow best to know Him, and really that’s what I’ve been praying for many years. You can’t stay in the green pastures and grow deeper with God. You have to walk in the wilderness so He can give you His strength. That’s where His angels will attend to us, and as Satan attacks that is where we will grow in faith and a deeper relationship with the Lord.
I can’t explain the change in my spirit after being reminded of something so simple. It’s hard to see the hand of Jesus when you’re away from the shore. When the rains pelt down and blur your vision it’s difficult to see Him standing on the water. Yet there He stands, calling us to His side, ready to calm the skies at the sound of His voice.
So, do you find yourself in the wilderness today?
Just remember, you’re in good company.