“I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland”.
Isa 43:19, 20 NIV
There can be many wastelands and wildernesses in human life. A family member with an addiction can create a wasteland. A financial disaster or unemployment can be another. So can illness, or civil strife, war or political upheaval, an accident or a life-limiting injury.
The way from Babylon back to Israel could be anything between seven hundred kilometres and fourteen hundred, depending on the route selected. The longer route did have water in the form of the Euphrates River for part of the way. The shorter one was over desert all the way. Whichever way they went, the people of Israel would have a long trek, with numerous hazards along the way. They were going to need the help of God if they were to survive. And survive they must. The promise of God to provide water in the wilderness which would make even the wild animals thank the Lord is one of the most beautiful passages and images in the whole book of Isaiah.
We all need help from God as we plod through the wilderness of life, whatever form it may take. For Christ it took the form of being constantly misunderstood and opposed by the authorities of his day. For Paul it meant the massive task of moving from one place to another, overcoming many hurdles and setbacks, with the possibility of death all along the way.
Whatever form your wilderness takes, use your time with God to renew your spiritual resources, and grasp whatever spiritual refreshment you can lay your hands on.
Lord, renew and refresh me throughout this long journey.