This is a companion piece to my post on theHeartseekerblog.wordpress.com…
Have you ever wondered why we all go through times when our world is shaken – or God seems to be absolutely disinterested in what you are going through?
We all have. And some of us go through way more than others.
But each of us go through times (or seasons) in what seems like an endless wilderness.
We wonder… “Isn’t God supposed to keep me out of such times and places? Why is He so indifferent to my pain? How could He just have left me here?”
These are difficult issues. But the Bible does give us answers to such questions.
Our understanding comes when we ponder a passage from Deuteronomy 8 (Yeah, I know it’s the Old Testament, but bear with me).
Moses is addressing the people of Israel. They have been wandering around in the wilderness for forty years – and now they are finally ready to go into the promised land and commence to being what God had called them to be.
Moses declares: “Remember that these forty years the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart…” (Deuteronomy 8:2)
Bottom line… the wilderness is for humbling and testing – that our hearts may be ready for the fullness of God’s plans for us.
Let’s think about humbling and testing for a bit…
Humbling is to bring us to a place of complete and utter reliance upon God. It is not pleasant. We are humbled to get us to the end of our own resources and strength – so we will give God His proper place… so we will KNOW that we must rely on Him alone as our provider and strength.
Testing is what it takes to challenge that commitment of reliance. It is the proof of what we say we believe. Belief that is untested… is not real belief.
Sometimes we forget that God is committed to bringing us each into the fullness of His plans for us. And if we really grasp that, then we must also grasp that God’s commitment to us will contain times when we will be humbled and tested.
Maybe it’s a difficult time in our lives. Or a loss. Or a heartbreak. Or a season when we are parched and aching from so much “desert” time. You know… the times when we feel like God is nowhere to be found – and could care less about our struggles.
It is those times that reveal the true condition of our hearts… and of our commitment to what we say we believe.
We don’t like it… but we NEED those times. If we never have them, there is just too much of us in all we do. And God loves us too much to leave us to ourselves. He is building something within us. Something that closely resembles Himself. And the only way to that place is through the humbling and testing points of our lives.
So if you are going through something that you don’t quite understand, know this: The God Who bought and paid for you, will never abandon you – look to Him in your season of need and fix your heart and mind on His faithfulness.
Even in the wilderness, He is always with you!