The wilderness seems to be a way of life for us now.
A few years ago we began our journey and it has been full of locusts, spiritual manna, and a whole host of other hills and valleys in life. When we moved into the travel trailer and began a whole new way of living, I truly did not know what the next day, let alone the next several years would bring.
It has not been easy, but He who is faithful will complete the task that He began in us.
I have many friends who also have gone into the wilderness during this season of life. Some have lost jobs, others homes, others have faced tragic family situations, etc. As difficult as these valleys are, they are also very purposeful for those who are God’s children.
5 Truths to Remember When You Are Sent into the Wilderness
And you shall remember all the ways which Adonai your God has caused you to go these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, to try you, to know that which is in your heart, whether you will keep His commandments or not.
And He has humbled you and caused you to hunger and caused you to eat the manna which you had not known, even your fathers had not known, in order to cause you to know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Adonai.” ~ Deut. 8: 2-3
In Exodus, we learn about the story of Moses and the Israelites being called into the desert. God called them out of the life they had known in Egypt, even though dysfunctional. It was here that they began a new trust walk with Him, as He led them to their Promised Land.
This story has resonated with my soul for years now. Prior to my husband’s separation from the Navy, it was the story the Lord laid on my heart for months. As we have walked in obedience to His leading it has continued to come to mind.
The desert is a fascinating place spiritually. We have come to learn that the word wilderness used in Exodus coincides with hearing God speak. In our experience, this time in the wilderness has certainly been full of teachings from the Lord.
Truth #1: God is Sovereign
It is easy to lose sight of the character and love of God when everything in life seems to be upside down and inside out. The valleys of this life can truly feel like a burden we cannot bear.
God takes care of those who are His, who follow after Him diligently, and seek to know Him more deeply. If your heart is to know and obey the Lord, then you are His. He will lead you to paths of righteousness.
This journey into the wilderness is for your blessing, and He will take care of His own.
But, our Abba is faithful and Sovereign, even in this dark world. He is not the one under the control of the enemy, but the enemy is under His dominion.
We must never forget this essential Truth. The liar and hater of our souls will tirelessly work to convince us of its falsity.
Truth #2: God provides for His Children
During these last almost three years in the wilderness, we have never seen hunger, nor known a true “lack.” In all reality, we have actually had to clear out the excess because we just had too much.
Some of the greatest lessons of His provision, though, have come in unexpected ways.
For the first year and a half of this time in the wilderness, we did not accept any public assistance. Rather, we lived off of our GI Bills while my husband and I both worked towards our Master’s degrees.
Though this was sufficient to cover our needs, we were without medical insurance. The thought of any of the kids experiencing a medical emergency was terrifying to us.
And then, in October of last year, it happened…
Our daughter seemed to be wasting away before our very eyes.
It took months for it to become obvious, as she unintentionally hid it very well, wearing baggy shirts and loose clothing. She had lost a lot of weight, and she seemed to be completely insatiable…it was undeniable that something was wrong.
She asked for food immediately after eating a meal, complaining that she was starving. I thought something was maybe wrong with her thyroid, and when I weighed her I found she was 64 pounds…at 10 years old.
Two days later…she was 62. That was when she and my husband packed a bag and headed to the ER and her life changed seemingly overnight.
It took about 10 minutes at the hospital to determine the diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes, and she had a glucose level of 360. She LITERALLY had been starving to death.
It has been quite an education for us since our daughter was diagnosed…yet another journey into the unknown. But, all the while we continued to hear “Trust Me.”
We had stayed away from the public programs because for years we have heard the judgmental voices asserting “good and responsible Christians do not use such assistance…doing so means they are lazy and just need to go get a job….”
It was a debilitating season. So, God pushed us over that hill to reveal that even public assistance programs are not outside of His lovingkindness.
Medicaid and SNAP have been lifesavers for our family, and have kept our daughter alive and well.
They have also allowed our son to resume occupational and speech therapies for his special needs.
Don’t let the enemy and the lies he loves to spin stop you from trusting the Lord. Make use of programs that are available for everyone, if the need exists.
For us, going through a career transition has stretched for much longer than expected. It is for these cases especially that public assistance is a Godsend.
We are very thankful that they exist, and pray that others truly in need will not listen to the ugly lies that pervade against them.
Truth #3: The Enemy will try to Distract and Confuse You
The lies of the enemy truly were alive and well in our hearts and minds when we began this journey. His voice is the one that attacked and caused anchors of debilitating fear as we continued to walk out on our journey.
Not only was his voice the one that stopped us from using helpful resources that were available, he also placed other voices into our path of a more confusing nature: professed Christians.
We have experienced judgments from others that have broken our hearts and led us to the Lord in tears of sorrow.
When in the midst of life’s valleys, it is terrible to bear words of condemnation from those who should speak hope and trust in the Lord. But, this too was a great lesson.
Not all who are professed believers truly trust the Lord to provide, nor believe that He alone is the Giver of all things.
In fact, I’d be so bold as to say that there are many more who will loudly question His provision and faithfulness than there are to proclaim that He will provide. Take such assertions with a grain of salt.
The enemy loves to confuse and distract the followers of our Abba. If contempt and condemnation are what you are hearing, seek Him for clarification and if there is any truth to the judgments.
If not, rebuke the lies and proclaim the Truth. No one else can truly know your story but you and the Lord.
Truth #4: God is Trustworthy
I am sure there were plenty who thought the Israelites were crazy when they left Egypt and headed into the wilderness.
This is pretty much the same response we have received from others at this time.
Not all journeys into the desert receive the same accusations. The accusations of irresponsibility come out in droves when the journey into the wilderness is associated with a perceived choice, rather than one of force.
Obey the Lord if He is calling you into the wilderness, for one reason or another.
Trust the Lord completely and follow after His leading.
We have been the recipients of the projected fears and insecurities of many other people as we started and as we have continued this journey. If this is you too, remember that just because another person is afraid and projects that fear onto you, you do not have to receive it as Truth.
Repeatedly in scripture, our Abba reveals His care for and attention to those who follow and obey Him. You do not need to be afraid. He will cover you in your times of need.
You may not have everything you want, and the course may seem to change as you go, but He will be with you as He leads, and He will provide for you as you need.
If we want to see the Lord work, we need to get out of His way and trust Him to do so.
We cannot watch Him work a miracle when we are constantly trying to avoid opportunities for Him to prove Himself.
I don’t know about you, but I suffer from “control freak syndrome.” Opening my hands and releasing control to Him does NOT come easily, and yet He has repeatedly called me to do just this over and over and over again. And you know what, He has NEVER let me down.
He won’t let you down either. He is worthy of your trust.
Truth #5: Physically Leaving Egypt is Actually the Easy Part; Getting it out of our Hearts is the Longest Part of the Journey
Why did it take the Israelites forty years to enter the Promised Land? Because they had Egypt in their hearts. It took forty years to unwind the lies and confusion that living in a land devoid of God brought.
In this world, God is not honored and trusted. Even among other believers, His character is called into question quite often.
It is for this reason that it takes time and much work to learn who He is and therefore what that means for our lives.
Trust the journey into the wilderness He has you on.
Manna from the sky, quail from out of nowhere, water from a rock…these kinds of miracles of God’s provision are what He has in store for those who trust Him explicitly to provide in times of need.
Every storm and season of life brings with it a new opportunity to watch Him work. Keep your eyes open and praise Him through the storm, even if it is hard and even if it hurts. Stay connected to Him and He will bless you because of your heart.
What About You?
Have you had or are you going through a season in the wilderness? What lessons through the journey has He been teaching you? Please share below. It is so helpful to encourage each other as we walk out our faith. Shalom!