The wilderness. For forty years, the children of Israel wandered around in the wilderness. What could have taken 11 days, took four decades.
When I think of the wilderness, I think of a dry, barren place. A place where there is no refreshing water, no cool breeze–no life.
In many ways, I see fear and panic disorder like a wilderness. A place in our heart where there is no life, no growth–only a painful hot wind that scorches the joy from our lives.
When I first became a Christian, I used to cry out to God, “Lord, please help me out of this wilderness of fear and doubt.” For a while, I studied the children of Israel and their trek through this arid place. As I searched and searched for a reason why these people wandered for 40 years, I came across this scripture:
“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).
The Israelites’ experience in the desert was a time of testing, a time of training, a time of transformation. The Lord was teaching his children how to trust in him, how to feed off of every word that comes from his mouth.
Do you remember why they were sentenced to 40 years in the desert? When the people heard about the giants in the land, they did not trust that the Lord would give them victory. They doubted. They came to the “Promised” Land, yet they did not believe in God’s promise.
Let me encourage you that there is a Promised Land:
A land of peace.
A land of growth.
A land of joy.
A land of rest.
A land of abundance.
Trust God. He will give you victory over the giants of fear and panic. He will go before you and defeat the enemy. Put your trust in him, and he will deliver you, “so that in the end it might go well with you” (Deuteronomy 8:16b).
Prayer: Father, I humble myself before you that I may not doubt your strength as the Israelites did. I trust you to guide me to the Promised Land of peace.