Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded.
Exodus 15:24 NLT

Israel swiftly turned the euphoria of deliverance from slavery into the disappointment that freedom may not be its own reward. Many grumbled that they had journeyed from the frying pan into the fire. There is a period of uncertainty between letting go of something before taking hold of the anticipated reward.

Often, what I anticipate will be the fruit of my decisions turns out to be woefully wrong. I’ve imagined the return I’ll secure from some action, yet reality presents me with a very different set of circumstances and with them emotions of disappointment and frustration. Such emotions are the source of anger, which looks for a scapegoat to blame for any inconvenience. Moses the hero becomes the whipping boy of the people’s complaints.

Wilderness has featured many times in my life. I resist it and seek to avoid it, yet I’ve learned it is always better to embrace it. Within wilderness there are extreme privations, I don’t experience the best of life experiences, yet within wilderness lies the opportunity to resist evil and discover self-realisation. During the waiting and testing, I discover much about myself and my God. No one can pass these lessons on to me. They are my own bespoke journey stitched together through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

When you have met with disappointment in response to your sense of anticipation, what is your reaction? It is the wilderness that you enter, yet wilderness, while daunting, at first becomes a space stripped of obvious distractions and attractions. Here you decide what is essential in your walk of faith and what securing the prize of eternal life demands of you.

Wilderness is a space in which I face up to those things I imagined I needed yet discover are unhelpful and unnecessary for entering into the fullness of God’s promise.


What have you learned from previous disappointments and wilderness times?


May I be a swift learner in the hard times. May I remember these lessons and apply them in my daily life. Thank you for loving me enough to help me change and grow more like your dear Son, Jesus.