Wilderness to Respite
” …for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” Mathew 11:29
As followers of Christ at some point in our earthly lives, we all come across and share a common experience – Wilderness. Wherein we may question whether God hears our prayers and may even find ourselves no longer desiring Him.
In the wilderness experience, we may find ourselves in a spiritually barren desert place where we are surrounded by uncertainties. We can feel that our lives are not bearing much fruit, and everything feels dry. This may be due to a temporary or long-term deficiency in our lives. Perhaps we’re unemployed, feeling our lives lack any purpose, we lack any close friendships, undergo lack of resources, illness, unanswered prayers to name but a few.
Or it may be a wilderness of our own, making through our own sin and withdrawal from God.
Whatever the case may be, throughout these times we may feel that God is far from our reach and may feel overwhelmed with the burden of uncertainties, which can be soul-wrenching.
As painful as wilderness experience is, it can still produce more spiritual growth than the good times, serving us a prospect to learn about ourselves, about God, about what is most important, and about where life is headed. In this Wilderness zone, there are not many intrusions to compete with God’s voice and it makes a helpful situation for someone who chooses to get closer to God and wants to experience the rejuvenated reality of God first-hand.
One of the reasons, God carried Israelites into the wilderness so that they could be separated from the influences of Egypt. Along the way to the promised land, God was their provider as they continued to seek and depend on Him. Similarly, God may separate us from the influences of the world, as well as the things and people that we have learned to depend on so that we will learn to depend on Him.
In our times of desperation, as we continue to seek Him, we may hear him say to us, according to His promise, “Come to Me . . . for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”