Life is difficult for many people right now. Economic crisis, family problems, health issues or any other combination of difficulties have brought many to a place of frustration and discouragement. Maybe this is why I have been hearing quite often from those who would say they are in a sort of spiritual wilderness.
The wilderness is a lonely place where direction is often hard to come by. In fact the wilderness is a place where God is not speaking…or is He?
Actually, I believe that God is always speaking…even in the wilderness – that will never change. But what may change is His tone. In Hosea 2:14 God, speaking of the prodigal nation of Israel, says, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness and speak comfortably to her.”
Recently I was sitting in a crowded restaurant trying to hold an important one-on-one conversation with my wife, but because of the ambient noise of people in the room talking, we found ourselves shouting at one another. If you’ve ever had a similar experience, you will agree that this kind of communication gets old after a while. If you really want to have meaningful communication with someone, you need to go to a quiet place where you can speak comfortably.
This is what God was saying to Israel, “I am going to take you into the wilderness, but not because I hate you or am angry with you, but because I want to speak comfortably to you.” Sometimes, I think that God gets tired of trying to shout over all of the noise in our lives. We are so often addicted to the business and commotion of our incessant activities that when we are drawn out of the busy restaurant of our lives into the quietness of the wilderness, we think that God is angry with us. And because He is not shouting over all the noise, we think He is not speaking. But it is here in this quiet place, this lonely place, this sometimes-uncomfortable place that He speaks the most precious things to us, if we care to listen to Him rather than straining to get back inside the restaurant as soon as possible.
MORE TO COME TOMORROW…