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Finding God in the Wilderness

“I have had enough LORD,”.…  “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”  Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

1 Kings 19:4

Occasionally, Christians go through the “wilderness experience.”   It happens even to spiritual giants like the late renowned evangelist, Billy Graham, the late Mother Teresa, Joyce Meyer and many others that you know.  If you listen to their stories and their life testimonies you will discover the theme of loneliness.  At one point or another in their ministries, they too felt like they were alone in the wilderness.  The wilderness experience seems to be part and parcel of what we refer to as, “God’s call” on someone’s life.

Recently, I went through such an episode and I can tell you it is not for the faint of heart.  When it happens, it is easy to feel marooned, lonely and isolated.  The more I prayed, “God take me deeper in my walk with you,” the fewer the band of friends following me became.  You yourself have probably felt alone at some point in your walk with Jesus.  You could even be experiencing that dry spell right now.  You may be wondering, “Where did all my friends go?”  You are not alone in asking that question.  I looked up the word “wilderness” in a dictionary and these are some of the synonyms I found: desert, wilds, badlands, desolate, wasteland, bleak, unused, unattractive, remote, empty, and obsolete.  Many people have lost their lives in the harsh environment of the wilderness.  So, nothing good happens in the wilderness, right?  Not so fast; the heroes of the faith, discovered that God is faithful even in the wilderness.

One such person is Elijah.  After Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah in 1 Kings 19, Elijah flees to the desert, discouraged, afraid and alone.  Where were his friends?  Some had been killed by Jezebel, the rest had probably fled for their lives.  With no friends to prop him up, he cries out to God, “I have had enough LORD,”.…  “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”  Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.  Elijah found himself in the wilderness both physically, emotionally and spiritually.  He found himself at a bleak spot in his spiritual walk.  He felt abandoned by everyone, even by God, and he just wanted to die.  But surprise, surprise!  It was when he was at the end of his rope that God showed up.  It was when Elijah was completely spent from physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that God intervened.  It was when Elijah was at his most vulnerable, as he lay down asleep, that God took over.  And when God stepped in everything changed!  God commanded the angels to feed Elijah; not once, but twice.  Friends, God will do whatever it takes to get you where he wants you to be.  With sufficient nourishment, Elijah felt strengthened and renewed, and ready to get back to God's business.

Do not be surprised at what you are going through.  The enemy has a habit of striking Christians while they are in the wilderness, but God, our refuge and strength, and an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) is always there, even in the wilderness.  He spoke to Moses in the wilderness (Exodus 3:1-17).  He was there in the wilderness for the children of Israel, in the pillar of cloud that went before them by day and the pillar of fire that gave them light by night (Exodus 13:21).  He was there for Hannah in her wilderness (1 Samuel 1:10); He was there for Daniel in his wilderness (Daniel 6:16) and he was there for Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).  And you know what?  This same God is all over your wilderness situation.  At the very end of your rope, is where his grace begins.  As Paul reminded the Corinthians, Jesus’ power is best displayed in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  So, take heart dearest friend, God is with you even now and will not forsake you.  Praise him, even in the wilderness.  He is working things out in accordance with his divine will for you.  So, get ready to re-enter the battlefield, thee are many souls yet to be won.

Overcoming God, here I wait at the foot of your throne in the wilderness, proclaiming that my redeemer lives and that his promises are yea and Amen.  Have your way in my life LORD, have your way.  Give me the strength I need, to keep fighting the good fight, until your Kingdom comes.  Amen.