Today’s reflection makes the 100th “Lesson in the Wilderness.” I contemplated ending the series here, not because I had reached a magic number, but because I am now well out of the wilderness. However, I have decided to continue these reflections for a couple of reasons.
One, I still have many things to share, not just about the past year that I spent in relative isolation, but about my continuing struggles in life’s journey. These, as Scripture tells us, will end only with the return of Christ and the creation of a new heaven and earth. Talking about these struggles and how God takes me through them brings me to the second reason.
Most people live in their own wildernesses, struggling with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. From the feedback I have received, these reflections have served to bring hope and encouragement to many. They have also brought consolation that they are not alone in their struggles and confidence that they will eventually emerge victorious.
If there is one thing that has taken me through the tough times in the past (and will continue to take me through tough times in the future), it is Paul’s words to the Romans that kept playing in my head like a stuck record: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). God’s voice repeatedly assured me that these words were true; he would make good come out of everything.
I can see that he has done so in so many ways. These reflections are obviously one of them, but other good things have also occurred. I am a calmer and stronger person now who feels even more deeply for the lost sheep of the world who have nowhere to go and hardly anyone to lead them to Christ. These are the people that Jesus came for, and I want to reach out to them more than ever before now.
Therefore, take hope from these words from Paul because they are true for you too. Memorize them if you can, and believe them with all your heart. However, please remember that the promise is dependent on the love we have for God. If the love isn’t deep, grow it. It is easy to love God once we get to know him intimately. In a few days—watch for the announcement—I’ll guide you in how to spend an hour in personal prayer and develop your relationship with God.
It has been a pleasure journeying with you these past few months, and I am very grateful for your love and support expressed through your messages of affirmation and appreciation. May God bless you.
And may the Spirit be with you.