On a roller coaster, blindfolded.
Feel that way lately? Me too.
It’s what author John Bevere would call a “wilderness season.” Feeling lost, confused lately by the events of the world, wondering where God is, and how we are supposed to respond.
Exhausted. The wilderness is exhausting!
As part of an initiative I’m calling, “Summer Reading For Grown Ups,” I’m reading Bevere’s, “God, Where are You?” and inviting you along on this journey. It may be that for the first time in our lives, you and I are walking through the same “wilderness” at the same time, and just trying to make sense of it all.
I’m a few chapters in to Bevere’s book, and what I am understanding is that God DOES have a purpose for each of us in this.
Most importantly, He wants to be closer to YOU. And ME. US. He loves us.
I’ve been through some wilderness seasons before. Five years ago, my husband of more than 20 years passed away.
During a four year battle with a rare lung cancer, we walked through so much wilderness, without a compass. Steep, exhausting climbs, tumbles down, drenched by storm after storm, and finally, one day, toward the end of the journey, my husband said something shocking.
He was on hospice, knew his days were numbered, and said he was just, “so tired of this.” I knew he was. I was weary with him.
He glanced my direction, and examined my face, which must have looked sad, and said, “Oh. I’m not tired of being with you. I don’t want to leave you, I just don’t want to be here like this.”
“But…” he continued. “I wouldn’t trade this illness for health. I would have never been this close to God if I hadn’t gotten sick.”
He wouldn’t trade it. He had grasped something I still struggle to grasp: that the difficult stuff – a pandemic, lockdown, unrest, illness, job loss, whatever you are facing – are difficult, but what these seasons produce is far more valuable than the comfort we were forced to give up.
“Such maturity of character is developed in us by God when we are in the wilderness,” assures Bevere, in “God, Where are You?”
I’m a forgetful person. I chose to share with you about a previous wilderness that I survived, that of my husband’s illness and our loss, because this morning, as I was feeling sad and broken by the events happening all around me, I came across a screenshot of a text he had sent me when he was very sick. Here it is:
He’s saying, don’t panic, as he was telling me of some symptoms to be aware of in him. He was dying when he typed this text to me. How could I forget that God is with us in the wilderness so easily? He is. He’s not left you. I’m thankful I came across Dan’s words today, when I needed them. Maybe you needed them too.
Please join me in reading the John Bevere book. I’m only a few chapters in. I’d love to compare notes, and walk out this wilderness with you! You can join the book club on the drop down menu above, left. Thanks for reading, and for listening.