Which of these pictures comes to mind when you think of being in the Wilderness? Wandering, like the Israelites, in a literal desert where it is hot, dry, and miserable? Being lost at sea, forever being tossed by the waves? Cautiously walking down a dark forest path that seems to lead nowhere? On a street, jammed together, shoulder-to-shoulder, with unknown people? Or maybe it’s a green forest that gives the illusion of it never ending?
Even if you have a different picture in your mind, you can understand the idea of finding yourself in the Unknown. The Uncharted. The place that causes fear and doubt. God doesn’t want us to start building here. Nor does He want us to run screaming. And of course we want to GET OUT. We don’t want to be where we don’t know the outcome nor the exit.
The Wilderness comes in seasons, in times of pruning for growth, and in times of teaching. It radically pulls us up and out of our comfortable and worn path and places us out into the rough. Moreover, HE pulls us up and out and He sets our feet in a space of sheer dependence and faith. Why? Because we do not see what He sees. We do not know what He knows.
When we are busy walking in circles, scratching our heads, “map” in-hand, head full of plans…He waits. Our Triune God waits. Full of patience, full of love. Waiting for us to lay it all down and trust His voice. He knows the way out but He also knows what it is we need to learn while we’re here in this Unknown.
What if we stopped and took in our surroundings?
What if we sat down, stopped planning, and listened? What if we were just being still in this Unknown? What would that look like in our lives? What would we hear? What would we see? What could we learn from just being with our God in this place?
-No doubt, there’s hurt. There’s discomfort. There are wounds that aren’t healed and they ache. -But maybe there are words to hear and tears to cry and healing to begin?
Beauty can be found in the deep and hard and darker places of our lives. God shines His light into those places and the Wilderness comes alive. We see things that we had passed over before. And it’s not about finding the way out…it’s about trusting the One who knows when it’s time to leave.
We can also rest in the knowing that the Gospel is still heard here. The Gospel is still being shouted out in this Wilderness. Grace is given here. Just like the manna for the Israelites and the Big Fish for Jonah; Grace is found here. We can still see the cross in this place and we can still meet Jesus here every day.
Thank God that He doesn’t leave us out here to survive.
No, He is the God that sees us.
And He makes a roadway in this harsh land. He is making something new – in us. Meet Him here. Read His words. Be still with Him. Give Him your burdens and your map, sisters! He’s waiting!
Hi Ladies. I’m Kim Smith. My husband, two kids and I have been attending Grace Chapel for 6 years now. I am honored to head up the Authentic Grace Blog. All the women who have written have been amazing. I hope you can write for us too! Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you more information!