Even Better Than Eden: Ch. 1, Wilderness--Personal Journal
In some ways I feel like my life has been a wilderness experience. I thought I was going somewhere, but truthfully, I often feel like the Israelites wandering out in the desert. The Promised Land is before me, but it feels like I’ve encountered a lot of detours and delays.
As I thought about this chapter, I pondered what “wilderness” I’m currently wading through. In a recent counseling session, the issue of my legalistic thinking popped up. I’ll spare you the gory details, but as I slowly trace my way down to the depths of my heart, I am starting to see the hunger underneath it: the hunger for justice, the hunger to prove myself right, and on the other side, the desire for freedom from the self-condemnation I often experience.
I do not like to see it, but by His grace, He is revealing these hungers in me. And if our chapter this week proves true, then it is also the very place that I have the opportunity to mature and grow.
The idea that He lets us feel hunger (Deut. 8:3 on p. 20) particularly struck me as I consider this area of my life. He doesn’t do this to torment me but to awaken my soul to the realization that I do need more than bread alone.
Unfortunately, most of us, myself included, do not look at our hungers this way. Instead of turning to God, it is so easy for us to find the closest substitute to satisfy that hunger. Instead of desiring the true bread that He offers, I settle for a goldfish cracker.
As long as I live here, I will hunger. I will want what I do not have. Discontentment threatens to rule.
But is there another option? The good news is “Yes!” Because Christ, the second Adam has faced the wilderness and now reigns victorious, we now live in a new era. He has not only faced the wilderness in the most dire of situations, He has successfully made it through to the other side. This is incredibly important, for that means that we who have His Spirit guiding and living in us can also successfully make it through the wilderness as well.
For me, this means that I can start by humbling myself, surrendering my need to be right or my insistence on justice. I can learn to be content when my circumstances seem unfair because my Savior has navigated that path before me.
My ways will always lead me to short-sighted ends. I may get what I want but lose what is most important. They will never satisfy permanently.
But if I know that His Story is the ending to my story, I can set aside my cravings, my hungers. Little by little, He will order my disordered heart, enlighten my darkened mind, and fill my soul with more of Christ so that others might see Him, even at cost to myself.
How does the theme of wilderness change your story?