We continue our summer guest series here with an amazing look at the wilderness times in our lives based on my sweet friend Dawn's time in Israel a few years ago. Dawn is a pastor's wife and a homeschooling mama to 3 sweet littles. It's especially exciting for me to have Dawn here at Simple Deep Life because she not only shared my college years at Cedarville University in Ohio, but was also a bridesmaid in my wedding! So grateful for her friendship and for her incredible commitment to Scripture as she shares her heart with us today.
Nine years ago, I walked through a desert, the wilderness of the Israelites. The ground crunched beneath my feet. As far as the eye could see there was no vegetation or water. I tried to wrap my mind around the thought of hundreds of thousands of Israelites traveling this land; babies, children, pregnant women, elderly, and animals. How could one survive in such barrenness?
The Israelites escaped the oppression of the Egyptians through unimaginable miracles and within three days of being in the wilderness they were grumbling because there was no water. God performed another miracle. He provided drinkable water in the middle of rocks and sand.
As they continued to travel through the wilderness, they grumbled. After all, they were in the middle of the wilderness. Where do you find food in the middle of a barren wasteland?
Every day, except on Shabbat, God gave bread that tasted like “wafers made with honey” rain down from heaven. Not only did God provide, He was creative in doing it!
The Israelites continued wandering, but God continued providing. He led them each step in a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. He gave victory against enemies. He provided quail in addition to manna. Yet, through all of these miracles and more, the Israelites grumbled.
I look at this story, this list of miracles, and wonder how the Israelites could be audacious enough to grumble. God had been faithful to keep His promises. He did amazing things and they did not see it! I wonder, however, had I been there would I have seen it?
I can be so blind. I allow myself to become consumed by daily chores, family needs, sports practice, music lessons, and church events. In the midst of the mundane, am I forgetting to look for the supernatural? God is always there and always working. In the middle of a narration of the wilderness years, Deuteronomy 2:7 says,
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing” (emphasis mine).
I have walked through my own wilderness. It may not have looked the same as the Israelites’ wilderness and I am sure it does not look like your wilderness. I have struggled and felt empty. I have grumbled and complained. I have wept in my wilderness. The truth is, though, God was always there. I have lacked nothing. He was my manna, my pillar of fire, my water. Did I notice?
Wilderness can be many different things. It can be loneliness, depression, a time of transition, waiting on God, fear, tragedy, struggle with relationships, and more. Sometimes these things seem endless and we feel empty. How can we get through our wilderness?
God is constantly working in your life. Do you see it? Are you grumbling through your wilderness? Are you acknowledging the miracles and working of God?
God is faithful. He provides. He gives you manna and leads with a pillar of fire. He gives you each step and each breath. You lack nothing.
Ask God to open your eyes, so that you may see His working. Take time today to look back over the last few days, weeks, and months to notice God’s provision. Do not let grumbling veil your eyes from seeing it. Write down the miracles in your life. Share them with your spouse, children, family, or friends.
Let your wilderness become a story of God’s miraculous provision.
“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” ~Psalm 78:4
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.” ~Deuteronomy 4:9
If you'd like to contact Dawn, you can send her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get it to her!