For the Lord your God is bringing you in to a good land, a land in which you will eat with out scarcity, in which you will lack nothing- Deuteronomy 8:7
As soon as our plane landed in Seattle, I knew I wouldn’t like it there. It was dark and dank with a constant mist in the air that left me damp and cold. But it was where my husband got his first “real” job so we had to go. I grew up in southern California and then moved to Las Vegas in my teens, so I had known nothing but sunshine up to that point. Once we settled in, I realized how incredibly lonely I felt. Most days the weather matched my mood: dark, rainy and dismal. I felt trapped indoors. I was in the throes of parenting with a two year old and a baby on the way and no support system to speak of locally. My husband worked long hours. He left early in the morning when it was still dark, he came home after dark too-tired and worn out from the day. The commute for him was long but necessary due to the fact that we couldn’t afford anything close to his work. The days for me were difficult and dragged on. I remember praying and begging God to get me out of there for four long years. But His answer was always ‘no.’ I didn’t understand it at the time, not even a little bit. But now, looking back, I can see all that God did inside of me during those dark years.
I think of that season now like my own wilderness experience. Much like the Israelites who were rescued from slavery only to find themselves wandering the desert for forty years, facing confusion, fear and scarcity. We not only were lacking financially but relationally and spiritually as well. During those wilderness years God was not only humbling me, but testing me, and most importantly, teaching me to rely solely on Him and His word. Would He be enough for me during those hard times? Would I doubt His goodness or faithfulness or His ability to help? Or would I stay faithful to Him and obey Him even when I was disappointed and confused.
The sooner that we learn the lessons that God is trying to teach us, the sooner we can move from the wilderness in to the promised land.
Finally, after four long years of being miserable, I decided to embrace where I lived. I accepted it. I surrendered my need to move away from the gloom and embraced my place completely. I began to serve in multiple ministries and cultivated real friendships. I started to focus on all that we had instead of all that we lacked. I had a change of heart towards God, choosing to believe that His plans were better than mine and that He could be trusted. One year later, a miracle happened. Just like that, my husband was given a new job opportunity that required a move to the sunny state of Arizona.
All along I thought I was waiting on God but it turns out He was really waiting on me. Waiting on me to learn the lessons that I so desperately needed to learn.
Maybe today you feel like you’re in a wilderness season. A season of fear or scarcity that you can’t seem to break free from. If you can relate, let me encourage you that a new day is coming. God will lead you to your promised land. Whatever that may be for you, a land of abundance. A land where dreams come true and relationships are rich. If you’re in a wilderness season right now, hang on! Don’t give up. Do your best to embrace the place and season that you are in. Keep trusting that God is good. After all, you are called to the place that He has you in. We may not like the place that He has us but we can serve God anywhere. There are always needs to be met and people to help if we only take our eyes off of ourselves and look around us.