“O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?”
Psalm 13:1-2a NLT
The most difficult wilderness I’m invited to walk through is the experience of disengagement from all that surrounds me. I carry a sense of detachment and fail to find connection with the life experiences that I participate in, for daily life offers us a series of experiences. I am present physically and, of course, emotionally, and yet somehow I experience a deep sense of lostness and separation.
In such seasons, I have historically reacted by screaming out for a renewed sense of meaning within my immediate context. Strangely, today in such times I no longer react, express any real emotion, but quietly acknowledge this is where I am and that it hurts. In such times I reflect a lot upon my mortality and can almost touch eternity. Now if I choose to turn towards God I am flooded with a sense of God’s immanence and permanence. If I could I would step from my immediate realities and associated responsibilities and leap into eternity completely. Is this escapism or a substantive experience of the fullness of the divine?
Interestingly, my response is a mix of sadness and exhilaration, accompanied by quiet tears. Indeed, today I find a deep sense of quietness overwhelms me. Even as I enter deeper within such wilderness times, it’s clear to me that I cannot go back – this is momentum towards a greater encounter with God.
Is the wilderness where I am invited to live continuously, with all its inherent fears, uncertainties and detachment, separated from the regular rhythms of life with their temptations that continuously surround and impress themselves upon it?
Perhaps the many wilderness experiences, while initially resisted and/or resented are the foundation blocks upon which real life flows and enlarges this fractured image-bearer of God.
How has God used wilderness experiences to grow your trust in him?
Lord, for all your children struggling with anguish and deep sorrow in their hearts, please bring the comfort and knowledge of your presence and love.