June 17, 2009

Wilderness

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 3:40 pm by Tamara

I wonder how Moses felt coming down from the mountain.  Talk about a “mountain top experience,” and then God sends him away.  How must have that hurt to turn and walk away after such a breathtaking experience of closeness with God?  Did he feel like his heart was being strangled, like he wanted to beg God to just let him stay?  And then he spends the next forty years, not leading the people to victory in the promised land, but wandering around aimlessly in circles.

I don’t know why he didn’t get resentful.

The moments when he can’t handle it anymore almost bring me to tears.  The moments when he wants to give up, or gets mad at God, or fed-up with the people.  I’m glad such an incredible leader was human.  I’m sobered that God didn’t step in and neatly fix everything so he could accomplish the goal.

Oh, wilderness.  My problem with wilderness times is I feel like I’m slogging my way through emptiness.   It’s not a great, dark battle, it’s just long, and dry and feels pointless.  God’s so quiet in the wilderness.  It’s not like He stoops down and says, “I’ve got you out here so I can teach you great things, and let me give you a glimpse of how I’m going to use this in the future.”  No, it’s just…quiet.  And dry.  And a lot of hard work.  A lot of plodding and very little sense of direction.  And the dreams that I can see, I’m afraid might be mirages of my imagination.

And then I start to wonder how I got there.  My confidence that God is walking with me wanes and I start to get worried.  Did He lead me here for a reason, or am I here by my own mistake?  Did I disobey, turn away?  How do I trust Him and keep walking when I’m scared it’s my fault I’m there?

I have a lot of temper tantrums in the wilderness.  Sometimes I stop in fury to kick off my rock-filled shoes and want to grab the rocks and throw them madly at God, wherever He is.  Sometimes I get so discouraged that I sit down and just cry.  Are You mad at me?  Is this my fault?  Or am I where You want to be?  And He’s usually very quiet.

Sometimes the wilderness takes more faith than the valley.

It’s the quiet wilderness that tells me if what I believe is just emotion.  Whether I’ll keep believing Him when He’s just quiet; keep pressing to know Him when there’s no thrill.  Whether I’m willing to work out  my faith, or if I just want it handed to me in neat, one-hour, experiential packages.

I want to know Him.  I want to walk with Him.  I want to push forward, and not settle for camping in the desert.  I want the promised land at the end, I want the crown, I want the “well done.”  I don’t have an insightful, tidy conclusion for this.  Probably because I’m still out plodding in the dust.  But I still believe.  And I think, even though the horizon line doesn’t look any closer, that I’m still walking.

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4 Comments »

  1. daniellecrossett said,

    Oh my heart! You’re catching onto wordpress quite a bit more quickly than I am myself. I see that I’m on your blogroll, and would like to add you to mine, but how is that to be accomplished?!? Tell me, oh wise one!

  2. daniellecrossett said,

    I’m fairly sure that I’ve told you about one of my favorite books, “Hinds Feet on High Places” before, but if you haven’t read it yet, you REALLY should! This “Wilderness” post sounds like it almost came from the book. It’s a really good book.

  3. Mom said,

    I love the way you take strong emotions and express them poignantly. But even more than that I love the way you don’t leave it there. Often when I’m feeling discouraged my tendency is to drift through the lesson with my senses shut down in survival mode. But you take the necessary energy to think through it to see the beauty and purpose on the other side of the vale/veil. And then you write it out so others can benefit from what you have discovered. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Amber said,

    I conceive other website owners should take this site if you are a model, very clean
    and great user pleasant style.


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