“The world tells us success comes quickly, but God says the promised land comes to those who trust him in the wilderness.”– Author Unknown
There comes a time in our lives when the light fades and darkness envelopes us. We can’t see enough to know which way to go, which choice to make. We may get a lucky break and see a glimmer of light on the horizon, only to be too afraid to go near it as the beasts of the wilderness howl in that direction. We maybe know God, but we are afraid, and maybe we can’t hear him in this place. We’ve heard that if we trust in him, he will lead the way. Some of us will reach a point where we question trusting a being who allowed us into that frightening place to begin with. We can become upset and even angry with God. Others in our lives who claim they’ve been through this wilderness before keep reminding us the same things day in and day out: “God has a plan for your life. Trust him.” When we remain in the wilderness much longer than our spirit feels it can take, we can even start to get numb to this promise. Yea Yea Yea…..
My Friends- BELIEVE ME, when you finally find his path with your name on it, directing you through to the light and the promised land, you too will be standing around the perimeter of the wilderness shouting at the top of your lungs- “Trust God! He will get you out of there! He will save you from the darkness and the beasts! Hear us! It’s not how you think! It’s not how it seems! There is more coming! Find his path! Listen to him! He will lead you out!”
That is what lifes’ trials will do to a believer. Once you’ve experienced the emptiness, the cold, the dread of the unknown around the corner, and God’s mercies finally meet you in that desperate place….you grow exponentially in trust, and faith, and wisdom.
1 Peter 1:7 tells us, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
Romans 5 3:4 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;”
God does allow trials in our lives yes. As we figure out in each trial how to find our way out of the darkness with God, we are then more able to reflect on past trials and see where he was working the whole time. Because of our past afflictions, when future difficulties and heartaches do come, we have grown in our walk. We can see the path with our name on it in the wilderness a little more clear each time, and we can see the way out that much better.
However, sometimes trials are so painful in this fallen world we can’t bear them for another moment. We can be lost in the wilderness for years…. for years crawling around in fear and darkness and exhaustion until we can’t take THAT either….and we fall to our knees and cry out MERCY! God help me! John 16:33 says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”And suddenly we see the lighted path leading to restoration and redemption and wholeness again, and we take our first baby step in that direction, and another, and another….
If you are reading this now and finding yourself lost in the wilderness, know that you are loved, The Shepherd is looking for you, and many of us are out here shouting into that wilderness prayers for you. Just look up- he’ll lead you out. One.step.at.a.time.