I spent this past weekend at Disciples Crossing in Athens, TX for the TBA CYF Mid-Winter Retreat. The theme was experiencing God in the myriad of places in today’s world.
Upon reflecting on the weekend, one of the places I experience God is in the Wilderness.
Of course this could mean that I experience God in nature, but that’s not it. What I am talking about is the biblical version of the Wilderness. That place where God sends people to learn, to be tested, to know.
Moses went there and found a bush. The Israelites wandered there for forty years before emerging a stronger nation. Jesus went out into the Wilderness to be tempted before starting his ministry.
All of these stories of the Wilderness are stories of calling, turmoil, and learning. We learn a little bit about the person/s driven out into the Wilderness through their experiences. We learn about Moses’ hesitancy, Israel’s growth, and Jesus’ steadfastness.
And so too do we learn about ourselves when we are in the Wilderness: when things aren’t perfect, when we are challenged, called, invited into relationship, tested.
God is there in those times, when everything is not hunky-dory. When we have to try and strain, just to make it through the day.
God is there, because God is a God of the Wilderness.
God is a God who helps us grow.