Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WILDERNESS JOURNEY

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian, pictured the Christian like someone trying to cross a sea of floating pieces of ice. The Christian cannot rest anywhere while crossing, except in his faith that God will see him through. He cannot stand anywhere too long, otherwise he sinks. After taking a step, he must watch out for the next. Beneath him is the abyss and before him is uncertainty—but always ahead is the Lord—firm and sure! He doesn’t see the land yet, but it is there—a promise in his heart. So the Christian traveler keeps his eyes fixed upon his final place!

I prefer to think of life as a wilderness journey—like that of the children of Israel. And King Jehoshaphat’s battle, along with all the children of Judah, is also our battle (see 2 Chronicles 20). Sure, it’s a wilderness; yes, there are snakes, dry water holes, valleys of tears, enemy armies, hot sands, drought, impassable mountains. But when the children of the Lord stood still to see his salvation, he spread a table in that wilderness—rained manna from above—destroyed enemy armies by his power alone—brought water out of rocks—took poison out of the snakebites—led them by pillar and cloud—gave them milk and honey—and brought them into the Promised Land with a high and mighty hand. And God warned them to tell every following generation: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

Stop looking in the wrong direction for help. Get alone with Jesus in a secret place; tell him all about your confusion. Tell him you have no other place to go. Tell him you trust him alone to see you through. You will be tempted to take matters into your own hand. You will want to figure things out on your own. You will wonder if God is working at all—there is nothing to lose. Peter summed it all up: “To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).

“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).