AS we step into Lent, we are reminded that Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness before starting His ministry.

Throughout scripture we read of many characters who experienced the wilderness, usually before they stepped into a significant calling. I wonder have you ever encountered a wilderness experience? A place where perhaps you find yourself discouraged, uncertain, tired, weary, fed-up, and so on.

All sorts of things can lead us to such a barren place and our days can often feel long, dark and extremely difficult – physically, emotionally or spiritually. Maybe you find yourself in a place where everything feels as though it is being stripped away and you hunger and thirst for something more.

Wilderness wanderers usually know what it is to feel lonely and hopeless; disillusionment, discouragement and a sense of abandonment can so easily set in as we seek ways to get out of our desolate place. It is a natural human emotion to cry out for help and relief, to long for such days in the desert place to cease. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for 'desert' means 'place of speaking'. When we feel abandoned, God always finds a way to reassure us of His presence.

The wilderness calls us to be still, reflect, pray, wrestle, and to listen to God. Our wilderness experience tends to bring to the surface what is happening deep within us and it is possible that we find ourselves, similarly to Jesus, being prepared for what lies ahead.

Let's remember the words penned by James, Jesus' brother: 'The testing of your faith produces perseverance.' (James 1:3.)  A number of us from SoulSpace community are journeying this Lent season together using the book 'The Desert of Compassion'.

The author: Rachel M. Srubas, shares the following prayer for the wilderness wanderer:

God of the journey, you meet me coming and going.

Show me, one step at a time, the path I'm meant to follow.

Keep me from getting ahead of myself.

Walk beside me when I get tired,

Lead me to places where I can be fed and bed down,

Watch over us.


Friends, keep walking and don't lose hope. I pray we will draw comfort from the words of Paul: 'We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.' (2 Corinth 4:8.)

Your wilderness place may just be the very place where you hear God speak to you.