Exodus 17:6-7 MSG God said to Moses, “Go on out ahead of the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel. Take the staff you used to strike the Nile. And go. I’m going to be present before you there on the rock at Horeb. You are to strike the rock. Water will gush out of it and the people will drink.” Moses did what he said, with the elders of Israel right there watching. He named the place Massah (Testing-Place) and Meribah (Quarreling) because of the quarreling of the Israelites and because of their testing of God when they said, “Is God here with us, or not?”
The wilderness experience is usually described as an unpleasant life experience or circumstance which could be characterized by suffering, lack, hard times, trials, and temptations. When faced with such an experience, we may feel stuck with no hope of relief. The children of Israel faced such situations repeatedly in the wilderness- one of such was when they were faced with a lack of water in the wilderness which made them doubt if God was among them.
We saw in our text above that God showed up for the children of Israel and gave them water in the wilderness.
You may be going through difficult times and unpalatable situations right now- lack, sickness, temptations, or trials that could make you think you are all alone and doubt if God is near. This is not limited to you. Men and women in the Scriptures are great examples- Job, David, Daniel, Paul, and the apostles have their own experiences and God had always proven to be true and faithful. The expected human response when going through the wilderness experience is to be discouraged and doubt if God cares.
In the face of suffering, you can either wonder where God is, wonder what went wrong, wonder why you are experiencing the setback–or you can choose to see it as a setup for what God wants to do in your life. What you are going through can be overwhelming but the one who made all things is well able to handle them. He is surely going to come through for you. Trusting in God during our wilderness experience and holding on to him gives us a deeper understanding of who He is and this can only be experienced in our period of great trials.
Do not allow this wilderness experience to cut you off from God’s plan for your life. Seek Him more than ever before and he will surely intervene in your situation.
Most times, the suffering and the chaos prepare our lives to bear the weight of all that God wants to do.
Therefore, in your darkest hours, when you feel like throwing in the towel, remember his loving words and promises for you saying,
“But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
Isaiah 41: 8-10 (MSG)
This is the time to pray to have courage like David, or faith like Esther, not forgetting that it is through great suffering that God’s glory is made manifest in you.
If Jesus can pass the test in the wilderness, you can pass your wilderness test. Keep looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of your faith.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me to keep my gaze on you through my time of trial and make me victorious just as you are.