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Don't Die in Your Wilderness


Growing plant in the wilderness
Image Credit: Josh Rangel in Unsplash

The wilderness, an expansive and desolate terrain, serves as a profound metaphor for the challenges and trials we encounter in our lives.


The wilderness, in its physical and metaphorical forms, represents those periods of darkness and confusion that often threaten to consume us.


In the next few minutes, we hope to show you that it is possible to outlive your wilderness – whatever that is.


The wilderness experience


The wilderness is not a place we plan or ever wish to visit, but it’s a place we often find ourselves on our way to somewhere else, or as an unplanned detour.

It’s the season of uncertainty, wandering, and testing. It’s the space between where we were and where we’re meant to be.

And just as the Israelites faced a physical wilderness as recorded in the Bible, we too often find ourselves lost and disoriented in the face of life's trials and tribulations.


The wilderness, in this context, represents those periods in our lives when we are stripped of our familiar comforts and forced to confront the realities of our human limitations.


The wilderness can represent any challenging period in our lives. It could be a period of financial hardship, ill health, a time of emotional turmoil, isolation, or a season of uncertainty.


In the wilderness, we grapple with uncertainty, fear, and frustration, questioning our direction and purpose.


Purpose of the Wilderness


It is important to note that the wilderness is not meant to be a destination but a pathway to the Promised Land.


The Israelites' journey through the wilderness was a vital chapter in their history, shaping them into a nation capable of fulfilling their divine purpose.


Our wilderness experiences serve a similar purpose. They reveal what’s truly in our hearts, strip us of self-reliance, and mold us into what God wants us to become.

Our wilderness is not meant to be permanent but rather temporary periods of trials and tests to promote growth and transformation.

Our wilderness is designed to shape our character, strengthen our faith, and prepare us for the blessings that lie ahead.


Wrong Attitude in the Wilderness


The Israelites, during their time in the wilderness, exhibited a recurring pattern of disobedience and unbelief.


Despite witnessing the miraculous deliverance from Egypt, they complained bitterly about the food and water, questioned God's leadership, and even longed to return to the slavery they had just escaped.


This attitude of doubt and negativity hindered their progress and prolonged their stay in the wilderness. It prevented them from fully embracing the transformative power of their wilderness experience.


A wrong attitude in the wilderness is often characterized by negativity, doubt, and a lack of trust in the divine plan. It's the tendency to focus on the challenges rather than the lessons, to complain rather than to be grateful for the journey.

 

Consequences of the Wrong Attitude in the Wilderness


The consequences of the Israelites' wrong attitude in the wilderness were severe. Many of them perished without entering the Promised Land. Their lack of faith and disobedience resulted in missed opportunities and delayed blessings.


Their story serves as a stark reminder of the destructive nature of unbelief and disobedience. It highlights the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity.


Such a wrong attitude in adversity can lead to missed blessings, prolonged seasons of struggle, and a failure to fully grasp the lessons intended for us.


It is a sobering realization that our response to the challenges in the wilderness significantly impacts the outcome of our journey.

 

Survivors and Wilderness Natives


The Israelites who eventually entered the Promised Land were those who had adapted to the wilderness and developed the necessary skills and attitudes to survive the wilderness and possess the Promised Land.


Joshua and Caleb, among the twelve spies sent to scout the Promised Land, stood out as examples of unwavering faith. Their positive report and trust in God distinguished them from their counterparts who succumbed to fear and doubt.


Their faith in God provided them with a sense of hope and direction. Their courage allowed them to face challenges head-on, and their perseverance enabled them to endure the hardships of the wilderness.


The survivors of the wilderness possessed qualities that enabled them to navigate the challenges and emerge stronger. They were characterized by:


Faith: They believed in God's promises and trusted in His guidance, even when faced with uncertainty.


Resilience: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges, persevere through hardships, and refuse to give in to despair or self-doubt.


Humility: They recognized their limitations and sought God's wisdom and strength.


Resourcefulness: The ability to find solutions and make the most of the available resources.


Gratitude: They appreciated the blessings they received, even amid adversity.


Conclusion: Embracing the Wilderness


The wilderness is not merely a physical landscape; it is a state of mind, a place where we confront our limitations, and weaknesses and put our faith on the crucible.


Just as the Israelites' wilderness experience transformed them, our trials and tribulations have the potential to shape us into stronger, more resilient individuals.

If we approach our challenges with the right attitude – with faith, humility, and gratitude – we can emerge from the wilderness as wilderness natives, ready to embrace the Promised Land that lies ahead.

Let us not succumb to despair or lose sight of the promises that lie before us. Instead, let us draw strength from the lessons of the wilderness and navigate life's challenges with the unwavering belief that we can overcome any obstacle and reach our full potential.


Don't die in the wilderness; thrive in it and through it, for it is in the wilderness that we discover our true strength and purpose.


 

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