It is human nature to want to heal ourselves. When we are faced with a wilderness in our lives that we cannot fix we will do one of two things. We will choose to try harder to heal ourselves or try or ignore our wilderness (through distraction or self-medicating).
God can not heal what He has not been invited into. The call of Lent is to invite God into our wilderness.
We have confessed with our mouths Jesus to be our Saviour but we must believe with our hearts that He is also our Saviour in our wilderness. Our belief in Jesus to be our Saviour is what gives Him the permission to come into our wilderness, speak tenderly and gently to us, tell us how much He loves us and to heal us.
Postures of our hearts that we may have towards God in our wilderness.
-arms crossed (anger) vs. arms lifted high towards God
– fists clenched (control) vs. hands open to what God has
-backs turned (disobedience) vs. body faced towards God
-hiding behind our pain/walls/defenses (fear) vs. inviting God into our pain/walls/defenses
-face down (shame) vs. face lifted up to God
-body slumped down (despair) vs. body kneeling to God in prayer
Postures God has towards us in our wilderness
- IS PURSUING US: alluring us to speak gently and tenderly to us (Hosea 2:14-15)
- WANTS TO GIVE PROTECTION AND COMFORT: wants to walk close beside us so He can protect (rod) and comfort (staff) us (Psalms 23:4)
- WANTS TO GIVE UNDERSTANDING AND DIRECTION: wants us to follow Him so He can bring light to our path so that we won’t stumble in the darkness (John 8:12)
- WANTS TO CARRY OUR BURDENS, TEACH US, AND GIVE US REST: wants us to come to Him with our burdens and weariness so He can give us rest, so that we can learn from Him and have rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-29)
- WANTS US TO UNDERSTAND HOW POWERFUL HE IS: wants us to know that our help comes from who made the heavens and the earth (Psalms 121:1-2)
We not are others saviours and can not take the place of God in their lives.
One response to journeying with others in their wilderness is to try to rescue them from themselves and that which they are journeying in. We can do this with our advice, our money, and our platitudes. This can make us feel better but can keep the one in the wilderness at arm’s length. The call to walk in the wilderness of another is to acknowledge a mutual need for a Saviour and to seek Jesus together. We are companions journeying together.
Invitations for the week:
- When you are faced with your wilderness this week, use that encounter as a call to prayer and worship (church bells/breath prayers).
- When you are faced with your wilderness this week, notice what your posture is before God in this place. Are you pushing Him out; standing between Him and your wilderness? Are you hiding from God; are you angry at God? Or does God feel far away and you feel like He has abandoned you in your wilderness and you wonder where He is?
- Name how you are orienting yourself (which posture) before God in your wilderness and confess any posture that is not open to inviting God into this space. Ask God to reveal to you how to stop striving to heal/fix your wilderness and how to rely on Him more each time you are faced with your wilderness this week.
- Confide in the person(s) you have decided to journey with this Lent about the posture you currently have before God in your wilderness and pray for and encourage each other.
Prayer for the Week: Romans 7:21-25
Further Study: Gen. 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17
Written by Bethany Roan ©
Image by Bethany Roan ©