Life Well Inspired

Treasure Hides in the Desert Wilderness Places of Our Lives

The desert is often thought of as the wilderness. A place of aloneness and emptiness. A place of trials and suffering. Maybe even the place of separation from God. But even there, in the place none of us really want to go, we can find hidden treasures that can bless us immensely.

The desert place can be literal and figurative. We can physically wander into a wilderness, a desert, and be utterly alone. It can match our empty hearts while we seek the one who created it. But we can also figuratively find ourselves in a desert place of life, seemingly alone with our struggles.

Whichever way you consider, you will always find God in the desert. Sometimes we find him quickly, and other times it is hard work, but as Hosea says in chapter 2:14, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.”

In her book Your New Now, Nicki Koziarz uncovers this beautiful tidbit from a word study- “But here’s something interesting: the Hebrew word for “desert” is midbar, which comes from the word dabar, which can mean “to speak.” Discovering that layer of meaning stopped me in my tracks momentarily.

Of course! God speaks when we are alone and still before him; there’s no better place for that than in the desert places of our lives.

We should embrace the desert with all its desolation and aloneness, for in the desolation, we avoid the distraction that can separate us from the love of Christ. It is in the barrenness we realize we need Him. It is in the quiet we hear His still, small voice.

After walking through intense trials and suffering over the past few years, I have come to understand that it is in the desert, through the trials of life and the suffering, that we find the most incredible gift and display of God’s goodness He could possibly give us.

He brings us to the wilderness to speak tenderly to us, to draw us to Himself, and to begin or deepen our relationship with Him. Sometimes that wilderness desert place is a place where He becomes quiet and encourages our growth, like the mama bird who kicks the baby birds out of the nest and teaches them to use their instincts and what they have learned separately from her.

The desert wilderness places also bring us to greater spiritual maturity. The closer we walk with the Lord, the more we seek Him and see Him, the more we learn to trust Him and lean into His sovereignty. That brings about a surrendered life. We can then join the hymn writer in experiencing how the “things of earth grow strangely dim.” And we can also say with another hymn writer, “It is well with my soul,” even when our worlds are spiraling, and the trials and suffering have us in the barren desert.

It takes a few trips of varying lengths to the desert, though. Each time the Lord allures us into the hard places, He speaks tenderly to us. He invites us to trust Him a little more and calls us to remember how he was faithful during our last trip. In time, we come to trust Him fully and eventually look forward to our trips to the desert.

A few years ago, I found myself beginning to ask the Lord to make life easier again, to remove the struggles I was facing. But as the thought and words formed, I stopped. I realized that wasn’t really what I wanted. I didn’t want an easy life if it meant losing the closeness I had come to have with Him. In that moment, I was humbled by the understanding of what that meant. It was the beginning of understanding what an authentic walk with the Lord was all about.

We hear all the celebrity Christian influencers and pastors talking about hearing from the Lord and talking with Him. And we listen to people talking about Jesus being a friend. That used to make me shake my head until I reached a point where I experienced it for myself.
Keep seeking Him, and He will allow you to find Him, but it will be through the desert wasteland before the mountaintops.

He first brings us through the deserts and wilderness as a refiner’s fire. We will either lean into the Lord through the hard times and seek Him with our whole hearts, or the trials will discourage us from seeking Him, and we will run the other direction away from Him. Those that run full speed towards the Lord through the trials and suffering will find a sweet, tender, intimate relationship with Jesus. That experience enables us to climb to the mountaintops.

When Jesus becomes your everything, the deserts aren’t scary. The wilderness becomes the place you get to know Him more intimately. Physical deserts become places of worship, and desert seasons of life become times of metamorphosis, which ultimately showcase the Lord’s glory in our lives.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19

And as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:11, He makes all things beautiful in His time. We can’t rush the time spent in the wilderness seasons. God shows us his goodness and matures us at the same time. In the desert, we develop Christian patience and spiritual maturity.

The desert is a place of hidden treasures because only God can make the desert wilderness places beautiful!

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