Allow yourself to seek God’s blessing in the wilderness.
There are times in the Christian life when we walk through a wilderness experience. God’s voice seems far away. We cannot turn back but have no clear vision for moving forward. The temptation to feel abandoned and despairing will be very real.
This scenario in Genesis 16-21 describes how Hagar, the servant girl who cared for Abraham and Sarah must have felt after she and her young son, Ishmael, were thrown out of their master’s camp and left to fend for themselves in a desert wasteland. These two wandered aimlessly for days in a state of emotional shock and physical deprivation.
The rejection and loss was devastating. Hagar had not only lost her livelihood, but her community, identity, protection, and the ability to provide for her son. Though her expulsion was not entirely unprovoked, the severity of her punishment felt like a death sentence.
Hagar had run away from Sarah, her mistress, into this very desert on a previous occasion. In the midst of her turmoil then, God had graciously intervened causing her to realize that though she felt alone and abandoned, He was tenderly watching over her. It had caused her to exclaim “You are the God who sees me!”
This time, however, the rejection from Abraham’s household was irrevocable and the ties had been permanently severed. Now, having run out of food and water, she and her son simply gave up and prepared to die.
Have you ever been in a place of such devastating loss? Everything seems hopeless and there is nowhere to turn? These are dark times of deep suffering. But, if you are the Lord’s He is with you in the valley and will make a way where none is visible. These are the crucibles of affliction where our faith transforms from abstract and intellectual into visceral and unshakeable.
Hagar and Ishmael didn’t die, for God again intervened with provision and a new plan for their lives. They discovered in a tangible and real way that God is all you need when He is truly all you have.
What is stunning to note is that Hagar and Ishmael’s new life began while they were both still in the wilderness with nothing to cling to but God’s promise that He had a future and a hope for them. In the midst of their utter bankruptcy, God proved to be a source of ample provision, comfort, guidance, protection…and faithfulness.
If your past has been shattered—the loss of a job, a loved one, your health, reputation, etc.—and today you find yourself in a wilderness, fall on your knees, look up, cry out! God is there! He sees you, He knows…and He cares. He has a promise for your future, too!
When my husband and I faced our wilderness experience with his bladder cancer, everything seemed hopeless. Traditional treatment protocols had nothing to offer and his death seemed certain. But God promised us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11), we believed Him, and He and opened a way for us that we never knew existed: the world of integrative oncology. By following eight non toxic, non invasive, painless, and immune boosting therapies, my husband was completely healed in less than a year, and he continues to be in perfect health to this day! Our complete story is captured in my book “Healed, Healthy and Whole, How We Beat Cancer with Integrative Therapies and Essential Healing Strategies” (http://www.healedhealthyandwhole.com). I know what it’s like to stumble through a wilderness racked with grief and fear. The book is meant to shine a light, provide life-saving resources and strengthen our faith in a loving God who never leaves us or forsakes us.
Today, if you are in a wilderness experience of your own, turn to “the One who sees you.” Open the Scriptures and allow Him to speak to you through His Word. His promises will leap off the pages and into your heart. Take hold of them and don’t waver in your faith. Even in the wilderness when all seems lost, God stands ready to richly bless and guide you if we learn to learn to listen, trust and follow.
“Call on me in the day of trouble I will deliver you and you will honor me.” Psalm 50:15