The wilderness is a place of wandering, of wondering what comes next, a place between destinations. There we haven’t yet arrived where we’re going, so we let our guard down and stumble. We grow weary and complain, imagining things would be better in some other place. Any other place.

This was true of Israel. Despite all God had done, a little hunger made them long for Egypt. Even slavery can sound better than wilderness.
But God was with them. He led them with visible signs of his presence—pillars of smoke and fire. He provided for them miraculously—fresh manna every morning. Yet this wasn’t enough.

They’re eyes were fixed only on where they had been (Egypt) and where they were going (The Promised Land), not where they were. Can you relate?

Like Israel, we can get so focused on what we want God to do for us tomorrow that we miss what he’s doing for us today. The wilderness, for Israel and for us, is not a place between destinations but a part of the journey. A place where God leads and provides and reveals himself to his people.

Like Israel, Jesus too was led into the wilderness. Matthew 4 records his famous encounter with Satan, who tried tempting him only after he had fasted forty days. But Jesus’ hunger made him long not for Egypt but for his Father’s presence. “Every word that comes from the mouth of God” was his bread (Matt 4:4 CSB).

Lent looks back at Jesus’ time in the wilderness. We march toward the joy of Easter, but we remember God is with us today. He is with us now, leading and providing.

If you’re fasting, remember that hunger is good. May our hunger for God and his Word only grow. “For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him” (Matt 4:10 CSB).

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.