Our Wilderness Wanderings

You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance— the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.”  Exodus 15:17

I’m weary. Each day is identical to the last. Work from home. Keep the kids occupied. Stare at the same walls, watch the same disheartening news.

We’ve all grappled with a range of emotions through the Corona-virus pandemic.

I’m in the stir-crazy stage, and my heart is moved toward impatient grumbling. When will this end? When will normalcy resume? When will we be comfortable again?

I’m reminded of Israel, wandering 40 years in the wilderness, eating the same food, wearing the same sandals, seeing the same barren land. I used to marvel how quickly they complained against God, having so recently witnessed the miraculous. Now I’m filled with empathy. And conviction. Even in a pandemic, I’m far more comfortable in my home than they ever were in the desert. I have greater promises, greater closeness to God’s presence. Still, I grumble.

The pandemic has exposed a truth the comforts of the modern world so often conceal — our earthly lives are a wilderness wandering.

As Exodus 15:17 declares, God promised Israel land in which they’d be planted, dwelling alongside his temple presence. Christians have the greater promise of a heavenly promised land in which we will dwell in God’s blazing, glorious, immediate presence.

God’s people, then and now, must persevere on our journey to the promised land. In our wilderness, we’re sustained by a better bread than manna — Jesus, the Bread of Life — and rest in a better hope. If the Covid-19 experience lifts our eyes to him and to Heaven, giving us a barren wandering that strengthens our muscles of perseverance, then that will be cause to rejoice.

Heavenly Father, I confess how weary the trials and hardships of life can make me, and how quickly my heart begins to grumble against you. Forgive me, restore my hope, sustain me with your nourishing presence, and fix my eyes beyond even the best this world can offer, to you and the glorious inheritance you’ve given me through Jesus. Amen.

How can we develop a greater attitude of gratitude during this wilderness journey?

How would that alter our thoughts and actions?

By Jason Weimer
Used by Permission

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