I feel like I have been living a "wilderness experience" for the past 6 or 7 years. During that time, I have experienced everything from the lost of loved ones and possessions to confusion on every side and so much more. Looking back, I remember thinking that I would not make it through any of the situations I have been through. I also recall wanting God to take the pain away along with my life many times. During the trials, I did not realize that God was showing me so much about myself.
In the midst of the tribulations, God showed me where my hope lied, what I wanted to run back to and who I turned to during times of uncertainty. So recently, I decided to study more about the word wilderness which has many different definitions but the one that was interesting defined it as a state of neglect, powerlessness or disfavor. This definition accurately describes how I felt my experience was in the wilderness seasons of my life. Many times, things looked so bad around me that I felt neglected or assumed I had found disfavor with God. So to me, it always seemed like there was no way out of the many trials I faced. But God showed me that I was a lot like Peter in Matthew 14:30 which says "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me." When Peter focused on the wind and took his eyes off Jesus that was the moment when fear set in.
Have you ever allowed your fears to completely paralyze you from trusting in Jesus? I know I have. There have been many times I have reacted to situations based on the fears that I have cooked up in my head. What this caused me to do was to take my focus off God and made me determine to produce my own solutions to whatever the problem was. So God reminded me that during those trials and tribulations, I should keep these words from Jeremiah 17:7 in my heart which says "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is." This verse serves as a reminder for us to keep our focus fully on God instead of what the current season we are in looks like to us.
For me, my wilderness experiences have consisted of growth and molding but those times also have included teaching me to trust in God for everything. (And I do mean everything!) So if you find yourself having a wilderness experience, remember to keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus like Psalm 121:1-2 reminds us.