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Time in the Wilderness Isn’t All that Bad

Wendy Pope

Day: 10 | Plan: Numbers

Today's Reading: Numbers 10

Numbers 10:22 (NIV) “The divisions of the camp of Ephraim went next, under their standard. Elishama son of Ammihud was in command.”

The Israelites, so full of hope to move to a fairer land full of God’s goodness, had been traveling for a long time. Their nomadic travels had lasted over two years so far! An 11 day journey had taken two years. God, in His sovereignty, guided His children on the scenic route rather than the fast track, for their protection as well as for their education.

Have you ever been on the “scenic route”? You follow God with expectation only to discover your journey led you straight to the wilderness. Discouragement can easily take root when our expectations don’t align with God’s timing. Worry replaces peace. Contentment turns to complaining.  

Let’s consider the wilderness might be exactly where God needs us to be. What if our wilderness experience is where God will reveal Himself and prepare us for a bigger purpose?  

In the wilderness we can often: 

  • See His miracles more clearly
  • Feel His presence more intensely
  • Worship Him more authentically
  • Obey Him more sincerely 

I wish I had known these truths many years ago when I faced what seemed to be the hopeless wilderness of infertility. The visits to specialists were hard and the tests were grueling. The cool thing about God is this: even when we don’t think He is working, He is. (John 5:17) I look back and see the comfort of God through friends, His encouragement through doctors, His care through my parents and His grace through His Holy Spirit. 

Our time in the wilderness will serve us well, if we let it. If we are willing, the desert days have the potential to strengthen our faith and deepen our relationship with the Lord. With this in mind, the wilderness doesn’t seem like such a bad place. Come to think of it, sometimes I need to be in the wilderness.

Prayer: Lord, I confess I don’t always pause to consider that my trial or hardship might be the place I can see more clearly than I ever have before. Today I resolve to consider my place of wilderness a classroom for Your revelation to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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