Sometimes in our Christian walk, there are times that seem like we are walking around in the wilderness trying to find our way and our path. When I think of these times, the children of Israel come to mind after God sent Moses to free them from years of bondage in Egypt. It never ceases to amaze me after years of crying out to God for deliverance, finally being freed, and after God parted the Red Sea and sent them manna from heaven and meeting all of their needs and answering their cries, they still doubted the promises of God. They wanted to return to their source of misery only because it was familiar and because they knew where their food was coming from and that they had shelter and they knew what the day would bring, even if it meant forced subservience. Every time something went wrong on their journey to the promised land, they turned their eyes from God and held Moses in contempt, because they thought the journey should have been easier than it was.
I wonder, how many times as Christians we take on the same attitude of thinking we shouldn't have to struggle or go through difficult times to receive all that God has for us.
I have recently found myself in my own veritable wilderness. Eight months ago, I was preparing myself to go to England to finish my BA in English. Finishing my education has always been a burning desire within me. Due to a series of unfortunate events, I could not accomplish this in America, but I was not bothered by this because England is a country I wholeheartedly love and my dream is to live and study there one day. I had the full support of my husband, family, and friends, and the future looked bright and promising. I was sure since everything was falling into line effortlessly that this must be God's stamp of approval.
Three weeks before I was scheduled to board my flight, My husband passed away due to complications of Covid-19. That occurrence alone came with a separate set of complications and events that I will share in another post one day, but due to his passing, England was put on hold indefinitely and I am back to square one. Even though I am not financially bereft, or left without any options for building a new future or life for myself, those options will not be easily gained. I can achieve them, but it will take time, careful planning, and re-routing my entire way of thinking and living. I see God's hand and blessings in it, but I do feel more often than not that I am in the wilderness, wandering around, venturing through, weighing my options, trying to decide which way to go and it is extremely overwhelming.
Personally, I feel like I've been through enough, more than one person should ever have to go through (again there's another piece of the story I am not yet ready to tell). Where is my win? Where is my victory? Where is my promised land? The difference between me and the Israelites is that I don't really want to go back to where I was because God is the author and finisher, I am ready to start this new chapter in my life but I don't want to be so hard-pressed at every side to get it, and that's where I'm just like the Israelites. Even in my distress, my depression, my anxiety, my sadness, I still spend time with God and his word daily. I do not blame him, I am not angry with him and I know the only way to get through this to the other side is with his help and his blessings. I keep his word and promises in my mind and repeat them, write them down, highlight them to renew my strength, because I know I still have a long way to go and I have to walk through this one step at a time.
It could have been so much worse. I could have been left with nothing and no options and even as hard as it is, I am grateful for all of God's blessings, for giving me the strength to keep going, for healing my hurts, and for removing my doubts...but also I know when I reach that pinnacle it is still not the end. Other struggles will come, but as it says in the book of Romans 5: 3-5 that we should rejoice in our sufferings because God is developing our character, there is a breakthrough coming. it is preparation for the next assignment and a blessing because our struggles, our pain, our trials, and tribulations are a testament to our life and one day will be an inspiration to someone else. Keep wandering through, stop along the way and rest as needed but if you trust God and believe in him and his word you will reach that promised land.