March 9, 2011

The Wilderness of the Soul

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. A time when Christians reflect on the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and being tested (Matthew 4:1-11) before beginning his public ministry. This draws an interesting parallel to the 40 years the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness before entering the land God had set aside for them. I'd like to spend just a moment reflecting on the idea of wilderness if I may.

Throughout Scripture, wilderness carries with it a connotation of solitude and desolation. A place where one might feel alone, intentionally or unintentionally. I would guess that most of us, at one time or another in our faith journey, have felt as though we have been lost in the wilderness. Perhaps not sure on how we got there but certainly struggling to find our way out. Some of you may feel as though your soul is lost in the wilderness right now.

Looking back at Jesus' time in the wilderness, don't forget that sometimes God leads us into the wilderness. The wilderness proved to be a time of preparation for Jesus, maybe your time in the wilderness is preparing you for what God has planned next? Or maybe this season of Lent can be a time of allowing God to help guide your soul out of the wilderness it finds itself in? Regardless, I encourage you to spend the next 40 days as a time of being in fellowship with God and each other, waiting to see where He might lead you.