devozine

Spiritual Practice

IN THE WILDERNESS

Erin Burke

The Israelites’ trek through the wilderness came alive for me when I was at a conference with my youth group and the keynote speaker explained how the story is a metaphor for our lives. My family was going through a difficult time. My grandmother had died, and my dad had lost his job. I felt as if we were in the wilderness, and it was a scary place to be. Yet when the speaker told us of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites in the wilderness, I believed that God would be faithful to my family as well.

God found Israel in a wild land—in a howling desert wasteland—he protected him, cared for him, watched over him with his very own eye.
Deuteronomy 32:10 (CEB)

The Bible is full of stories about God’s rescuing people in the wilderness. God came to Hagar when she was in the wilderness, sure that she would die (Genesis 21:8–21). God led the Israelites through the wilderness after their escape from Egypt (Exodus 13:17–22). When Jesus was in the wilderness, being tempted by Satan, the word of God gave him strength to stand firm (Matthew 4:1–11).
The wilderness is a scary place to be; but for thousands of years, God has led people through the wilderness. In the same way, God has always been faithful to me and has led me through the wilderness times in my life, which gives me faith that God will continue to do so in the future.

 

PRAY PSALM 136:3a, 16 (NRSV):

“O give thanks to the Lord of lords, . . .
who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever.”

—from devozine (July/August 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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