My Wilderness Experience
by Danita Harris
The word wilderness is defined as an uncultivated and uninhabited region. Basically, a desolate area where nothing is really going on. But that's how the dictionary defines it...not God. You see, for it is in our "wilderness experience" where God truly refines and defines us as Christians. It is in the "wilderness" where you learn how to depend on God and it's also a great litmus test of your faith. It's easy to praise God and profess great faith when all is going well. But it's in those challenging times when our faith is perfected.
Contrary to Webster's definition, there is a lot going on in the wilderness. During the wilderness experience is when most of us feel alone, afraid, and maybe unloved. Nobody seems to understand what we're going through and some people appear to be uncaring and insensitive to our situation. The friends that we could usually lean on are too busy to talk and not available to meet for lunch or dinner. Our families love us, but their response is "Things will get better", and that's just not cutting it.
You go to church on the verge of tears, and once the praise and worship goes up and the pastor speaks the word of God, you find yourself broken with a tear-stained face. You look up and say "God where are you, God I need you, God I hurt." You begin to wonder if God really hears your cries. Oh yes, He hears you and always know that God is with you in the wilderness. God uses this "uncultivated" area to cultivate your character. Dear ones, there's much work being done in the wilderness.
The reason why your friends and family are unavailable to you, is because God wants you to come to Him. God wants you to share the burdens of your heart with Him, for He is the only one who can restore and heal you. Too many times we put our faith in man. We look to our own abilities to make things happen in our lives. When God leads you into the wilderness, it's his way of reminding you that He is God and He controls what happens in your life. It's also a time of preparation for what God has in store for you. We tend to think that we are always ready to receive the blessings of God. But, the reality is we are not. Because God loves you so much, He will reconstruct your character in a way that will receive the blessing the correct way, in order to carry out His will. That's hard for us to accept sometimes, and so we would rather forfeit the process that God wants to take us through.
Don't let the enemy fool you in your wilderness experience. He will try to tell you that God doesn't care and that He doesn't love you. He will try to convince you that your prayers unto Him will not be answered and that He will not fulfill His promises to you. At this point, you must tell the enemy that "HE IS A LIAR!" You may have to tell him this a hundred times but just make sure you tell him that and believe it. Remember that this season in your life won't last forever and when God brings you out, you will shine like pure gold. Allow him to mold you and reshape you in the wilderness. Draw closer to Him and experience a love like you've never had before. Let him prepare you and equip you with the tools you will need to carry out the call He has placed on your life.
As I write these words to you, I too am in the wilderness. But I embrace this time of pruning and shaping because I want to be the woman that God has called me to be. So, even though the dictionary says it is an uninhabited place, there are others who are with you. We're all praying and staying close to the Lord. Studying the word of God and opening our hearts to His will in our lives. There's peace in the wilderness, once you let go of your will and follow His. The challenge is in letting go. Release to God whatever it is you've been trying to fix or understand. Give it to Him. Let go and trust that God will work it out for your good.
When doubt and fear creeps in, because it will, remember whose hand your holding...God's. He will always lead you to good...not to disaster. Rest while you're in the wilderness. Trust while you're in the wilderness. But more importantly, Grow while you're in the wilderness. God has great things in store for you and I want you to have all of it!
May the peace of God be with you always!
Danita Harris is an anchor at WEWS News Channel 5 and can be seen daily on Good Morning Cleveland and News Channel 5 at Noon. She loves to write poetry, sing, and volunteer with The Girls Club of Ohio. Danita loves to encourage people in the Lord, and prays everyday that people would see the light of the Lord in her life.