We all have experiences in our lives that seem extreme or difficult. God allows us to wander in a wilderness – sometimes of our own making, sometimes not. Whether we have lost our jobs, faced illnesses, or have had difficulties in our personal relationships, perhaps even through some fault of our own, we can find ourselves out in the desert of circumstance, a place of loneliness, confusion, doubt, and fear – a wilderness of emotion and dryness of spirit.
I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ for over forty years. Like the people of Israel I’ve wandered wildernesses of testing, often as a result of my own actions. I know I’m not alone… many of us have been unemployed, lonely, sick, and frustrated for long periods of trial and tribulation.
In my own case, during those many months of calling out to God and trying to walk through the experience in dependent fellowship with Him, I learned a lot about myself, my own faith, and what the Lord expected of me on the long and lonely road through life.
I knew God was totally able to solve my situations and bless my desires. If He could speak the cosmos into existence He could blink a solution into existence without breaking a sweat. But He didn’t. Why? I spent many, many hours in prayer and searching the scriptures for answers to that question.
I wanted God to explain what He was doing and what He wanted from me. I prayed and asked Him to tell me what was going on in my life. What was His plan for me? “Just let me know, Lord!”
Then one day as I was discussing my situation with a Christian friend I said, “I wish God would just send me a memo explaining what’s going on.”
My friend pointed out that The Almighty had done just exactly that. His word, the Bible, is a memo of the most complete kind.
“They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; They did not find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; Their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them also by a straight way, To go to an inhabited city. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:4–9
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!” Psalm 107:19–21
Note that verse twenty says God sent His word to heal them and save them from their distresses. What a blessing it was for me to realize I had that very document open right in front of me all during my own wilderness wanderings. I just didn’t get the memo… all I needed to do was read it with hungry eyes and an open heart and God would speak to me through its pages.
God has “an inhabited city” for each of us in the form of a gracious blessing. All we must do is follow where His word leads to discover all His grace and mercy has for us.
“I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word.” Psalm 130:5 (NLT)
Did you get the memo? Did you read it?
Think about it…