“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert…, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”Deuteronomy 8:2
The wilderness is not a place of beauty and peace like those brochures from the Sierra Club. It’s a place of scarcity and scorpions, of thirst and hunger. For one person, it might be a place of loneliness. For another, it’s a place where tears and prayers are answered by silence. For a third, it is marked by weariness and pain. The wilderness is the place where all our ordinary means of supply dry up.
The Bible tells us that God leads His children both into the wilderness and all the way through it. Why would He take us there? We think of our own children and can’t imagine subjecting them to such a place. Why would He?
Our heavenly Father knows that the wilderness is essential for His fatherly discipline of us. We think we’ve got our act together, but the wilderness humbles us. We imagine our faith is strong, but it exposes our self-reliance. We assume that we’re obedient, yet the wilderness tests our limits. He is at work there. And since He has led you in, He Himself will lead you all the way through it.
The wilderness is where God brings me to the end of myself so that I will turn to Him.