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The Wilderness

A common motif in Scripture is the wilderness. All over Scripture, we find stories of individuals who ran to, hid in, or were led into a wilderness season. A few Biblical persons included in a wilderness experience are,   

  • Cain 
  • Abraham 
  • Hagar 
  • Moses 
  • The Israelites 
  • Elijah 
  • David 
  • Jonah 
  • John the Baptist 
  • Jesus 
  • The Apostle Paul 

What do they all have in common? In the wilderness, they encountered God. 

 In their brokenness and discomfort, in their murderous thoughts, in their confusion and doubt, in their longing and waiting, wherever they were, and regardless of their circumstances, they were found by Him. Some chose into the wilderness encounter, but others, like Cain, rejected it. The ones who said yes were transformed. 

The wilderness can be summed up in one word: pain. There is a maturing that happens through pain. This, to be clear, is not a theology that says God ordains sickness. This is the reality that we grow and are purified through testing and tension. During seasons of squeezing, the invitation is always connection with the Father.   

“But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis 

In the past year, the wilderness for me has looked like an invitation to let Him know  me. There has been a drive in me to center my entire life around work and ministry. The culture from which I came even applauded that characteristic, celebrating such drive as good and beneficial to the Kingdom of God. However, a look under the surface revealed a lonely individual racked with fear and shame.  

In the wilderness, the Father has revealed this anxious need to work hard for significance comes from a deep desire to be loved. The problem is, the more I worked, and the more I garnered approval from people, the more my heart had become disconnected from Him. So, He has taken me on a journey. This journey has exposed my desire for approval, has required healing, laying down of idols, and forgiveness, and has been much slower than I would have preferred it to be. Admits all the pain, however, something beautiful has happened as I have said “yes” to Him; I have begun to fall in love. The great exchange of His love for my brokenness has begun to slowly shift my affection away from myself and others and onto Him. No longer am I just loyal to His precepts and virtues, but I love Him. And His love changes everything.  

The wilderness is the place of rediscovering covenant. The invitation into the wilderness, the place of pain and longing, binds us so deeply to the Father’s heart that there is no more room for any impurity, brokenness, pride, or divided hearts. He’s jealous for all of us, so He takes us to a threshing floor of love to heal, transform, and woo us into a place of total surrender.  

 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. . . “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground.” Hosea 2:14, 16-18. 

Miriam Beard
Miriam Beard
Miriam has the loudest laugh in the Garden Global team office. She loves the Lord and loves living her life pursuing Him and being with people. She loves stories, has way too many house plants, and cries when she sees a cute dog or a beautiful landscape.

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