We all face wilderness experiences—times of loneliness, doubt, spiritual dryness, even despair. Moses faced his wilderness experience on the back side of the desert for forty years. David faced his as he fled from King Saul. John the Baptist faced his in the face of King Herod . . . and it cost John his head. Even our Lord faced His own wilderness experience during His 40-day fast, while the devil taunted and tempted Him.
Wilderness experiences may feel fruitless, but they most certainly are not. Even when we are in the midst of what seems like the back side of the blessings of God, we are still being blessed! To be sure, a wilderness is only pleasant when it is viewed on a picture postcard and not experienced in person. Yet, God has ordained all of us to go through a wilderness on the way to our Promised Land.
Did you know that the wilderness experience proves to be quite beneficial for a tree? The dry, barren environment causes the roots of the tree to drive down deeper and deeper into the soil in search of life-giving moisture. Thanks to this stronger root system, that tree is far better able to weather the storm winds that will eventually blow around it.
The very same thing is true for you and me when we think that we are languishing on the back side of God’s blessings. Our wilderness experiences are designed to cause us to drive our roots deeper and deeper into the soil of our Savior, and the result is that we are stronger and better able to weather the inevitable “life storms” that blow our way.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
The key to bearing much fruit on the back side of God’s blessings is to remain—to abide—in Christ. Our roots are already connected to our
Redeemer. We need only reach for Him as we as respond to whatever wilderness experience comes our way. As children of the Most High God, we must remember that even on the back side of God’s blessings we are still being strengthened and blessed and supported.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!