In the Wilderness
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 states, "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord."
There are times in all of our lives that we experience a "wilderness" of our own. For some, it might be a dislike of our job...we have been wondering why God has not allowed another door to open so that we can feel like we are fulfilling His purpose. Others might be in a wilderness in the area of marriage or singleness. The married couple wonders why they aren't loving one another the way they used to. The single might be questioning if God will ever bring them the perfect helpmate. Still others might be in a wilderness in the area of their own spiritual growth. Maybe it feels as if you are on a roller coaster... some months you are into the Word and other months you are disconnected. For myself, I have been in a wilderness of a wait period. I received a promise from the Lord and it hasn't happened yet. Sometimes my attitude is full of faith and trust. Other times, I find myself in tears wondering if God remembers me.
So, why does God allow wilderness experiences in our lives? Deuteronomy 8:2-3 proclaims that God was leading the Israelites through the wilderness to HUMBLE THEM, TEST THEM, and to know what was IN THEIR HEART. Were they going to realize that their lives were in the hands of God and not their own [HUMILITY]? Were they going to pass the TEST by continuing to trust in God's promises and His provision in their lives? Finally, were they going to keep a good attitude and remain obedient or grumble and complain [ATTITUDE OF THE HEART]?
I believe that God does the same thing in our lives. I hope you can be reminded by these verses that just because you are having a wilderness experience doesn't mean God is far away from you. He is LEADING you through the wilderness. That means He is right there with you... even when it doesn't feel like it. Notice also in these verses that God ALLOWED the Israelites to HUNGER. That is exactly where the Lord wants us too!!! He desires for us to hunger for Him and realize that that is where we WILL find life. Jesus states in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." So during our wilderness experiences...instead of complaining and whining...let us remember that we are His and not our own, let us PASS the test, let us keep a good attitude, and let us know that God is with us every step of the way! Then soon and very soon, we shall be filled!!!!