I stared at the calendar in disbelief It had been exactly three years to the day since I was laid off. I had originally seen my layoff as a chance to make a new start, but after three years, not much had changed.
I felt like I was traveling across a vast desert without a GPS. Each night the wind would erase my trail of footprints and by morning, I would lose my bearings. With each restart I would become less and less sure of where I was and where I was going.
Then I read Luke 4:1-2, and there were several concepts that I could not reconcile with my previous assumptions about God.
Jesus was full of the Spirit, yet God still led Him into the wilderness. I’ve often found myself believing that as long as I did my part, I could count on God to do His. With that mindset, “good deeds” were actually premiums for a cosmic insurance policy. How could someone be full of the Spirit and still find themselves in the wilderness?
Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, yet He was tempted. Most of my mechanisms for dealing with temptation were designed to keep me close to God. That, I thought, would force Satan to stay away. Jesus lived a sinless life, yet still faced temptations.
God was the one who brought Jesus to the wilderness. How could a loving Father take the hand of His trusting, innocent Son and deliberately lead Him into the wilderness to face temptation?
Many of our assumptions about God have more to do with who we want Him to be, than who He actually is. Sometimes, it is our false assumptions that actually prevent us from moving forward. If you find yourself lost in the wilderness like me after I lost my job, remember to hold on to what we know is true from God’s word. God promised to “never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Trust His Word. Lean on Him. No matter what your situation is, you are not alone.
Have you faced any wilderness experiences in your life? If so, did you learn anything about God in the process? Are there any Scriptures that were meaningful to you at the time?