After the hustle and bustle of the holidays many of us find ourselves in the wilderness. Our schedules are not so full, the shopping is finished and the gifts have been given, we've visited with friends and family that we don't see but once or twice a year. The winter cold hits us full on and forces us to limit our activities. So what do we do with ourselves?
We cannot live and love
and engage life in meaningful ways without sometimes ending up in the
wilderness. It is those times when we feel we are tested
to our limits. I've heard it described as dry,
desolate, lonely, trying, difficult, agonizing. But it's important that we realize that the wilderness is a time for learning. And prioritizing.
At different times during our lives, we are presented with many options as to how to use our
resources, time, abilities, and influence. Without a clear sense of what
is most important, we can spend it all and at the end of the day find
that we have not taken care of what matters most.
Jesus’ time in the wilderness was spent getting a
clear picture of God’s will for His life. Satan tried to tempt Him with wealth, fame, and power to
get Him to deviate from His mission. If He had been less than the Son of God, or if He had not spent these lonely hours understanding what His ministry was to be, Satan may have been successful.
Wilderness time can test
our values and our priorities. Even though this time may be lonely and oh, so painful, it can yield more spiritual growth than the good times. These are the times we learn about ourselves...who we are at our core. If we don't take stock of ourselves, life can just go along without much thought or purpose. We may come to the end and recognize how much we have squandered.