July 10, 2020

Wilderness Living

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When He called my name to cross the waters, I did not know where it would lead. What wilderness lay before me, or even that He Himself would be taking me to this place of missing manna, unquenchable thirst.

Still, I wandered through the thicket, brushed against the barren earth on feet aquiver. Pillar of fire by night–I was no more soothed by the dancing shadows just beyond, the black unknown, overgrown, unseen.

I know HIs ways are not our ways, but I wish He’d give a glimpse of what waits for me when I replenish my strength with water pumped from a solid slab of rock. He is the God who breaks forth life, sweet survival, clever guide in the hard elements.

We wish to forge on fast and straight, one swift cross from corner to corner. It never works that well-aligned. There are crooked turns and twists of thorns, head-scratching and heart-rending. The journey never moves the way we mean. And when the day doesn’t go my way, I gripe and curl my fingers into fists and demand answers, bemoan how I should have known better. It is a bitter gall to drink, this mirage of self-sufficiency. God gives quail and I scurry to store up for the days ahead, gather more than what I could possibly take with me.

“Let go,” He says. To only bring what’s best for the hours lest all the excess spoil.

I am slow to understand how I get to the promised Land from here, but maybe it’s in my mud-slung stretch of wilderness living where my bones grow strong and heart, soft. Where I find justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. Maybe through these unmarked roads I will recognize my worth as a helpless child dependent on a full-grown trust. For He who made the waters move will not veer off the path with me now. Where I am is where He wants me. Depleted, dependent, thankful for my daily bread.

Keep to the untidy tides of life, in sorrow and in hope, in want and in plenty. God brings the brambles, I make my course with no clear destination. I allow myself to wander, allow the dusk to set and sun to rise, find water in the valley once more.

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