He [Moses] led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Exodus 3:1-2
Moses murdered a man and then fled to the wilderness rather than be killed by Pharaoh. His self imposed exile from Egypt led to a surreal encounter with holy God. It was also in this foreign land that in defense of seven defenseless women he was blessed with a wife. Jethro, the respected priest of Midan, rewarded Moses’ courage with his daughter and with a job. Moses, free from his troubles back home, enjoyed a fresh start. God blessed his 40-year wilderness experience.
We all mess up in life. Our bad choices or another’s bad choices can create unintended negative consequences. Like Moses, our anger can cause us to carry out hurtful, even life-threatening actions. Anger left unchecked can become a cruel master. We spew destructive words; like daggers they kill a friend or family member’s joy. Anger is such a serious offense, Jesus compares it to murder (Matthew 5:21-22). So, we may find ourselves in a relational or spiritual wilderness looking for the Lord. He blesses if we let our pride be chipped away by our troubles.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
Has a relationship imploded? Are you confused,afraid of a radical change? Do you feel isolated and alone? If so, look for the Lord’s favor in your unfavorable circumstances. Be a humble student who better understands your strengths and weakness. Be aggressive in your service of others and God will bless your unselfish heart. You create value when you value others. Ask what issues a friend needs to solve and offer them creative ideas and solutions. You are blessed in the process of blessing another. The Lord favors those who serve the at risk--at their own risk.
Most of all, navigating unfamiliar circumstances is a prime opportunity to become more familiar with our heavenly Father. He wants to bless us in spite of our insecurities over new surroundings. We seek to experience God during our wilderness experience. As our faith is tested, we persevere. As we persevere our trust in the Lord matures and we become complete in Christ. We don’t lack anything because we have everything we need in Him. Our wilderness is His blessing.
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened” (1 Peter 3:14).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for the opportunity to experience You during my wilderness experience.
Related Readings: Job 23:10; Isaiah 8:12, 48:10; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 2:20