The Wilderness Isn't All Bad
Recently I have been in a season of transition and re-discovery of self. That makes it sound so interesting, but let's be honest, those types of seasons are hard and this one has been no different. I've struggled with feeling inadequate, wondering what my purpose is and what God wants me to be and do in this world for Him and His kingdom.
Recently, I was listening to a book by John Mark Comer where, in one chapter, he was talking about Jesus and His times in the wilderness. He mentioned that the word that was used and we translate to wilderness is erémos. Interestingly, this word can also be translated to solitary, desolate, desert, a place that provides needed quiet, lonely, or uninhabited/unpopulated. I find that interesting, as did Comer, because the same word is used when Jesus needs some alone time or needed to get away from someone or something in order to think, pray, and/or refresh.
I don't know about you, but typically I run at the thought of experiencing erémos - I don't like barren, lonely, desolate places/seasons. When I think of those places or seasons through my cultural lens, I get scared and anxious and think only bad things will happen. You see, we see the erémos, the wilderness, as a destination; a place where bad things happen and we just have to grit and bare it until it's over. And when it's over, maybe we will know what the point was.
The thing is though, Jesus saw erémos differently, as Comer pointed out, he saw the wilderness as a means for preparation. A wilderness season or place was where he found silence & solitude. He used the wilderness as a tool for rest, preparation, and building His relationship with God the Father. What's also counterintuitive to our culture is he frequently chose to go to them! They were not scary to him; they were positive and necessary. Something He wanted.
By being with God, praying to Him, and meditating on Him, Jesus was able to find respite or prepare for what God had in store for him. In Matthew 4, Jesus spent 40 days alone before he was tempted by Satan. Yes, his physical body was weak from lack of food, but his spiritual self was strengthened and fortified by His time with His Father. As a result, when Satan came, Jesus was able to refute him and persevere against his temptations.
As I was listening to this I had an aha moment: what if I changed my perspective on the erémos seasons of my life? What if I saw them as a tool where I can find respite in Holy Spirit and learn the lessons I need for the next season that God is bringing me?
It was this aha moment that started the ball rolling for me to listen to Holy Spirit and open my eyes to what God may have for me in the future and what doors He may be preparing to open. I want to use this blog as a way for me to share with you encouragement as you go along your journey, equip you with the lessons that God has shared with me, and empower you to go out and become the woman or man that God created you to be and that He delights in watching grow!