In May 2005 I was fortunate enough to be a part of a trip to Israel with a group of my former students. This trip was not your normal go to Israel, stand where Jesus stood, and take your picture with a camel in downtown Jerusalem trip.
We did see some of the tourist sites, but we also hiked 10-12 miles a day for 15 days and got to experience parts of country that most visitors don’t. During our time there we spent several days in the wilderness, the Galilee and in and around Jerusalem. It was during this journey, the climbing mountains and hiking through valleys, getting covered with dust in 110+ degree weather, that I began to see my life in the context of the events and places we were studying.
One of my favorite places in Israel is the wilderness. Yeah, I’m a little weird that way. It is not the most beautiful place and it is not the place where Jesus spent most of His time. The wilderness isn’t even a place you can stay. But for the ancient Israelites, and for me, it was a place to meet God and to learn to walk with Him.
It was in the desert, the wilderness, that God took the people when He brought them out of Egypt. God made a covenant with His people in the wilderness, in essence marrying them. It was during this time that He called the people to Himself, that God said “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Leviticus 26:12). God dwelling among His people for the first time since Adam – amazing when you think about it. God with us.
It was also in the wilderness that they learned to rely on God. No longer could they trust in Pharaoh’s provision, no longer could they rely on their own strength. Without God they would perish in the wilderness and sometimes they thought that might be better.
Sure, they got to spend a little extra time wandering around because they were disobedient. I’m sure we get to spend some extra time wandering here as well because we don’t get it. But for me, I am learning to enjoy my time in the wilderness.
It is here that God calls me out of captivity. It is here that He promises to walk with me and be my God. It is here that He forms our relationship and calls me to be the person He created me to be. It is here I learn that He is my only source. It is here that I wander until He decides it is time to enter the Promised Land.
I hope to use this tiny piece of cyber land to share my wanderings, and invite you to join me on this journey. This is intended to be a place we can share the good times and the struggles along the path, to do life together. Feel free to comment whether you agree or disagree, all I ask is that you do so in a manner that honors Him and edifies others. If you are interested in being a guest blogger and sharing your wanderings, please contact me. I want this to be about Him and the journey He has us on, not me. Thanks for walking with me – I can’t do it alone.
Grace and Peace!