A while ago we were challenged to share something on the subject of seeing Jesus in the wilderness or the aspects and elements of the wilderness.
When I at first thought of sharing something on the subject of seeing Jesus in the aspects of the wilderness it was difficult for me to think of anything to share. In the wilderness experience that I have had for about the last 5 years, I have had a lot of painful experiences and it would be too painful to talk about some of those. I prayed for Jesus to show me something to share out of a subject where I could not see anything good. After I prayed, Jesus showed me a few good things to see in the elements of the wilderness.
- Jesus is the sand beneath our feet. We can walk on it and it’s soft beneath our burning feet. It is not like hot pavement that is both hot and hard. The sand is soft. It is not firm and cool like a grassy yard, so it reminds us that we are not meant to permanently live in the wilderness.
- Jesus is the sun above our heads. He lights our way so we can see where we are going. Yet the sunshine can be blazing hot and can remind us again that we are not meant to permanently live in the desert wilderness.
- Jesus is the oasis of water, and/or shade. Jesus can nourish us and refresh us as cool water and shade can. He can always sustain us and make a way for us to survive. Yet a short distance away we can see that we are still in the wilderness, and that an oasis is not enough to sustain us in the wilderness over the long term.
- Jesus can be the cleft of the rock we hide in for shelter or shade. In some deserts there can be rocky areas where a person could hide in the cleft of the rock for shade from the hot sun and for protection from sudden storms and even from predators. One man once said that sometimes we can be caught between a rock and a hard place and Jesus is the rock and the hard place, and He can hold us there for our safety. We might see it as miserable but it could be for our safety.
Jesus also gives us the desire and strength to move on to get out of the wilderness.
I asked Jesus why He would ever want us to be in the misery of the wilderness. Jesus seemed to give me an answer by showing me that He can lead us there for a few good reasons:
- So we can be alone so there are no other voices that will distract us from Him
- Sometimes the wilderness for us is for us to detox and get bad beliefs out of our mind
- We can also go through the wilderness so we will learn to totally surrender ourselves to God. He may want to see if interacting with Him is a part time thing or a full time thing where we completely give up our desires to fulfill whatever He desires.
- For Elijah the wilderness seemed like a place for God and Elijah to be alone together for a while.
- Elijah got a little time to rest and relax and be safe. God provided for him and when it was time to move on, God ceased giving food, and gave Elijah a mission, and Elijah moved on.
Jesus also provides a way out of the wilderness through Himself. As the Bible shows He seems to work in invisible ways. When I thought about this it reminded me of the movie “Indiana Jones and the last crusade”.
In the last part of the movie, Indy gets past a lot of traps only to see what appeared to be a large chasm separating him from getting to where he needed to go. All Dr. Jones knew was that he needed a leap of faith even though he could not see how it could be possible to reach his goal. He could not see the way to the other side because the stone bridge had a perfect illusion that made it seem like it was not there when it really was.
We also have difficulty seeing how Jesus could possibly help us get out of the misery of our wilderness experience, yet not only can He be seen in the elements of the wilderness, but He is in the wilderness with us. Jesus is there with us, loving us and sustaining us. He is also the way out, or the bridge to get us out of the wilderness, and He is the promised land that we are to move into.
May we always be willing to surrender to Jesus, His love and His guidance.