Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hope in the Wilderness (31 Days of Healing in Him)

I have been fortunate enough to have done a lot of traveling and I have been in many a wilderness.

Anyone who has visited Death Valley in California can attest to the literal nothingness that surrounds you. This barren land is my best visual for the wilderness described in Exodus 16.

And God led His people there — on purpose.

Moses and the "whole Israelite community" were brought out of slavery and bondage. But before they would arrive in the "Promised Land" where they could settle and thrive, they were led into the wilderness — a barren desert without food or drink.

The land was harsh and as you might imagine, it was difficult for them. They were hungry and thirsty and didn't know how they would eat. So like any of us would, they began to complain.

"Why were we led out of slavery and into the wilderness," they demanded. They had been rescued and yet they still struggled. It wasn't the "freedom" they had in mind.

“If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” (Exodus 16:3).

They reminisced about the "good old days" enslaved, but not hungry. They were disillusioned — no longer slaves, but not living in that freedom. Do we live in that freedom?

Moses and the Israelites were saved, by God's grace. But they were completely and utterly dependent on God to provide for their needs — and He did. But even then, they continued to quarrel, complain, and question the Lord.

Last Sunday, my Pastor talked about how God had a purpose in leading them into the wilderness — it was for their good, to teach and train them.

"It's a process to learn how to 'not be a slave' and it's in the wilderness that God can show us our own heart" (Tony Taylor).

The healing path can feel like the wilderness to me. It's hard and lonely, sometimes.

God provided food in the desert for Moses and the Israelites. Their only job, besides obeying and trusting God, was do the work to gather it. In the same way, God provides for us in our healing, but we have to be willing to do the work.

Instead of the wilderness being a punishment, it is a means for God to help us break the chains of bondage we still hold onto.

We are free people. But there are things that keep us stuck.

The path may feel unending. It may twist and turn and seem like it isn't leading anywhere at all.

But take heart, your time in the wilderness, ultimately, is the road — to the "Promised Land."

Art Journaling by Christy Mae Willard

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***My Pastor, Tony Taylor, preached this sermon, Desert FoodExodus 16 (Oct. 19, 2014)which inspired and directed this post. You can listen to it HERE.

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days

1 comment:

Debbie P said...

I absolutely LOVE your art journaling! I also wrote about the wilderness as I have been healing. Seems we are on similar paths. Thanks for your posts! Here are the posts I wrote http://unafamiliaalaskena.blogspot.com/2013/11/wilderness-wanderings.html

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