February 1 - The Wilderness in Our Lives

By Barbara Lighthizer

Today's Scripture: Exodus 13:17-15:18

Central Thought: There are reasons for the spiritual dry times we all experience.

    After God sent the last plague to Egypt, Pharaoh realized it was hopeless to fight against the God of Israel, and he let the Jews leave. The Israelites were elated to be finally on their way to the Promised Land, but they had no concept of what lay ahead and the years of testing and trials they would face.

    Instead of going the shortest route through the Philistine country, God led the Israelites around by way of the wilderness. The Jews must have felt it was unnecessary and unfair to take them on a longer route.

    How many times have we found that the Lord has led us into a wilderness experience? For apparently no reason our lives become dull. Going to church becomes a chore, and we feel parched in our souls. We are uncomfortable, and stress mounts as we wonder what has happened and how we can escape.

    Is there a purpose in these wilderness experiences? Yes, there is always a reason for what happens in our lives. The Lord does not promise us financial security, blooming health, and loving relationships; but He promises never to leave us.

    The wilderness experience helps us to learn not to lean on our 'feelings” but to trust the Lord for who He is. He will fulfill His promises. It may seem like we have a lifetime of wasteland occurrences, but He provides oases for us along the way.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, You have a purpose for allowing me to go through this time when I can almost feel the desert wind blowing in my face and the heat burning up what little life I have left. Teach me what You want me to learn as You lead me through this wilderness. You are my strength, Jesus. I need to trust You more.

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 13:17-15:18; Matthew 21:23-46; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 6:16-19.