The Wilderness

The [wilderness] is where God transforms us from people of slavery, to people of God.   Jeff Manion, pastor and author

   Summertime brings dreams of pool parties, tan lines and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, summer also brings headlines like “Two found after getting lost while hiking” or “Fifteen rescued after stepping off the mountain trail.” In parks and wilderness areas across the nation, inexperienced and unprepared hikers get so lost each year that they end up needing to be rescued. They are found after...
massive searches, or a “help text” with 1% left on their cell phone battery giving a signal to their whereabouts before shutting off. How do those individuals get in such a pickle? The thing is, most people don’t prepare to be lost in the wilderness.

   Last weekend Lee left us at the Garden of Eden where he answered the question of “what is wrong with the human race?” The answer was simple. Sin. As Tim Keller says, “…the Bible is a single story. A story that tells us what is wrong with the human race, what God is doing about it, and how history will end…”, and ultimately, it is a story of mercy, grace and redemption.

As we heard this weekend, a tremendous series of events have unfolded between the Garden of Eden and our next stopping point with the Israelites enslaved in Egypt. As Lee re-capped this weekend, these 2500 years have included:

Noah and the flood
Abram (later Abraham) called and the beginning of the nation of Israel
Jacob who had 12 sons, each becoming a tribe in the nation of Israel
Jacob’s son, Joseph, who God used to save his family from famine
Israelites endure 400 years of slavery
God raises up a man named Moses, who told the Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”
After leaving Egypt, God parts the Red Sea to give the Israelites final victory over the Egyptians.

 Now, the Israelites are on their way to the promised land God has said He would give them. What a time of thankfulness and praise, right?Wrong. The Israelites’ gratitude quickly turns as they hit difficulty and hardship in what they thought would be an easy passage. Even as God provided for them, like water from a rock after days of thirst, and manna (sweet wafer) every morning for food, what starts out as praise turns to complaints and bitterness. Yet, how often do we receive a wonderful blessing from God, but quickly forget and begin complaining?

   The Israelites’ repeated disobedience and lack of trust, including an attempt to enter the Promised Land their way, cost them 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Since the Israelites wandered from one place to the next under God’s hand, the wilderness came to represent a place of constant transition.

   Maybe the transition you are experiencing is because of a discouragement, graduation after college, an empty nest, a health change or diagnosis. We don’t like change—and we don’t like uncertainty, yet God does amazing work during those times. How will you wait while in the wilderness? Will you trust God to lead you through the perfect plan He has for your life in His timing? Time in the wilderness will tell.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jan, such a great post and one that we all can learn from. Changes are going to happen to us all and how we adjust with God's help is the key!! Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs and Blessings, CM