There are times in our lives when we enter the wilderness. What is the wilderness? The wilderness is the place where you feel alone and detached, away from the material world that matters so much to many of us. We live in a world where material well-being reigns supreme, whether this manifests as a luxury holiday, an elaborate cosmetic set or a comprehensive health plan. Each day, we are bombarded by advertisements, lifestyle magazines, social media blogs – all telling us how best to satisfy our bodily needs. While there is nothing wrong with attending to our bodily needs, over-indulgence can be a danger.
As human being, we are both spirit and body. Our bodily needs are our basic animalistic needs; while our spiritual needs lead us to God. In the Book of Romans, Paul taught us, “But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you … – for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” This is where the wilderness comes in. It is God’s “teachable moment” for us. There will be times where we need to taste failures and isolation, for it is in these times where, rid of material distractions, we truly see God in his full grandeur and mercy.
The wilderness experience is hard. But we are not alone in experiencing it. In fact, throughout the Bible, we witness the Jewish nation wondering in the desert; John the Baptist living a life of a hermit in the wilderness; and even our Lord Jesus Christ himself being tested by the Devil in the wilderness – all examples of the wilderness experience. In all of these cases, God uses the wilderness experience to prepare his subjects for an important mission, something of great importance. If you are experiencing the wilderness now, be comforted that God may be preparing you too, for He has a grand plan for you.
Let us remind ourselves that the Lord will never ask us to bear any burden which we are unable to bear. Be rest assured, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13)