Israel spent forty years lost in the desert. They complain of heat, hunger, thirst; they grew weary of the seeming lack of leadership and not being settled into their own place.
Hagar spent some days in the wilderness alone with her son. Rejected by her mistress and the father of her child, she fell into despair, surrendering to the elements, and turning over her only son to the desert's harsh temperatures.
Elijah, running from a livid queen after stumping her religion's priests, hid in a cave in the wilderness. Not exactly a Hilton. He felt alone, depressed, abandoned.
Are you starting to see a theme?
Abraham lived in the wilderness. In a tent. Sarah must've been a strong woman. :) His nephew turned his back on Abraham's faith and fell in with the wrong crowd. He was old and childless. And, to top it off, three uninvited, unannounced guests turned up at his door expecting to be served a meal!
Christ, while on earth, spent 40 consecutive days fasting in the wilderness following his baptism. He suffered hunger and severe temptation from Satan.
After reading about all the above circumstances, we can know that we aren't the only ones who've been through some tight spots. Also, in each story we see how God was faithful to these hurting people.
Jesus immediately began His three year ministry. Abraham saw his nephew rescued and his wife bear a son and entertained Christ at his table. Elijah heard the voice of God. Hagar received a promise that her son would survive this desert and become father to a great nation. Israel was given great victories and a land of their own.
Another way God proved loving and comforting in their hard times was ministering to them. Israel was miraculously provided for: bread from heaven, quails arriving on the wind (literally) and water coursing from a rock. Elijah, Hagar and Christ all were given physical sustenance and spiritual encouragement and instruction from angels.
As the desert comes to life upon reflection, so our seemingly "dry" days can fulfill us like no others can.
So don't gripe about the heat. Don't while about the pain. Don't pull a "poor me" act. God uses the wilderness to make us thirst for Him.
Like Israel, let's walk out of our wilderness claiming the victory He's already won for us. Like Hagar, let's cling to our new found hope. Like Abraham, give your all, and claim the promise offered. Like Christ, fight temptation, even when you're weak. Like Elijah, don't focus on the winds, earthquakes, tornadoes, thundering and lightning- listen for the still small voice.
And don't forget to look for the angels, for they will come. They may arrive in the form of your neighbor who drops by to see if you're okay. A church member who brings a meal. A friend who frequently lets you know that they are praying for you.
One way to keep your mind off your trials is to reach out to someone else who's hurting. "Bearing one another's burdens" and all that.
One faithless giant upon the crest of Hebron's lofty heightHas vowed that he's the one to make me flee.I'll come from out the wilderness and trust Jehovah's might.I want that mountain, it belongs to me!-I Want That Mountain