Voice From the Pew

The Wilderness of the Wandering


Have you ever felt like you were wandering around in the wilderness? The Bible has a few things to say about the wilderness.

It is a place of flight and of freedom (Genesis 16, 21; Exodus 3, 13). It is populated by deadly animals (Deuteronomy 8:15). Water is scarce (Exodus 15, 17), and crops do not grow. It is dangerous (Exodus 14:3). It is wide (Deuteronomy 1:19). And it is easy to get lost (Num 32; Psalm 107:4). Wilderness is where God’s people learn to trust. In wilderness God carried them (Deuteronomy 1:31), fed them (Exodus 16), and gave them improbable water (Exodus 17). In wilderness God found God’s people, guarded, and cared for them, and lifted them up (Deuteronomy 32).

Does any of this sound familiar at all?  Like a place you may have found yourself or do find yourself?  Let’s bring it a little closer to home.  Wandering in the wilderness means “to move or travel about, in or through a place without any definite purpose or destination.” It also means “to proceed in an irregular course, to meander or to go astray.”  If we are honest, who of us haven’t been there or been close to someone who was there?

When we face trials and struggles, it would be human to feel forgotten or abandoned.  We might not be able at that moment to grasp that during these times of wandering we have the    potential to learn lessons like patience and endurance and more importantly, trust.  Only on the other side of the wandering do we realize what a power packed faith building exercise that journey was, and that God was with us every step of the way.

When the Children of Israel wandered for 40 years because of their disobedience, God did not abandon them.  “The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar fire to give them light at night so they could travel day or night.  The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22) He fed them manna and quail and provided water when needed.  Did you know during that time neither their clothes nor their shoes wore out?  (Deuteronomy 29:5)

In whatever wilderness you’re going through, be assured, my friend, God is with you.  He has a plan for you, and He will never let you go. 

The View from Peggy’s Pew