I began this year, 2019, as I did last year, with a few goals in mind, a few words to saddle through the year, and a continued walk in this garden wilderness.
I think I am slowly beginning to see that this place, this garden wilderness place is where HE wants me to settle. Not in acceptance and not as a surrender, but to understand, know and appreciate the place where HE is.
I think I am settling here…in this place in the wilderness. Temptations surround and the enemy continually threatens. But greater than all these is that HE is here. In this garden wilderness place called HOLY.
As I settle here, I also feel a pull to leave the wilderness. This place called wilderness, where shoes did not wear out. This place called wilderness where trials and temptations solidified the walk with HIM. This place where I have learned to call home. Yes, surprisingly we found relationship with HIM in the wilderness. This wild and unkempt place that houses many dangers has miraculously become home, for here is where I have found HIM. My refuge, my retreat, my present help in the time of storm, all found in the wilderness.
But, just as HE led me to the wilderness, HE also leads out so that the work can began, so that we can bear fruit and pursue the God-given purposes. There is a need, a call to leave the wilderness to bear fruit. A maturation, if you will, to wean from the manna called dew, and eat the meat of doing HIS will.
The fear, the uncertainty…the thought of forgetting the wilderness pangs me. I have developed a comfort in the wilderness. The rocks have become pillows, the lions have provided a blanket of comfort, and the furnace a means of heat. Yet, HE calls me away from HIM to go out to them. And I shudder in dread for fear of forgetting the lessons of the wilderness. For HE has said…don’t ever forget!
So, I leave the wilderness. I leave the place that I have called home, and step out into the harvest which HE has deemed as great but of few laborers.
Who shall we send?
Amidst uncertainty, I volunteer, “here I am, send me.” And we follow the example of our Savior. For He who was filled with the Spirit of God and then led to the wilderness to be tempted, often returned to the wilderness to pray.
And here is how we don’t forget. Here is how we remember that our strength, power, nourishment and needs are located in the secret place in this garden wilderness. As often as I retreat, I shall hopefully never forget.
May we never, ever forget the lessons of the wilderness!