Psalm 136:16—He led His people in the wilderness. His love is eternal.
Attached to a very somber sentence is a very powerful promise. God leads us into dry and rocky places yet He covers us with perpetual love. God sends us through hot, unforgiving, callous-producing sand yet cares deeply about us.
Consider that the wilderness may be a word-famine. Silence persists for years for the person desperate to “hear from God.” His love remains.
The desert may be scarce resources for a family that can barely make it through each day. His love remains.
The wasteland may be persistent sickness, seasons of unabated searing pain. His love remains.
The desert may be ministry droughts where no one responds, helps or seemingly cares. His love remains.
The wasteland may be a loveless marriage, unexplainable depression or repeated failures. His love remains.
Sometimes we make our own wilderness by disobeying God’s commands; by making poor decisions that cater to our fleshly nature. His love remains. Thomas Merton in The Seven Storey Mountain wrote:
That is to say, all men who live only according to their five senses, and seek nothing beyond the gratification of their natural appetites for pleasure and reputation and power, cut themselves off from that charity which is the principle of all spiritual vitality and happiness because it alone saves us from the barren wilderness of our own abominable selfishness.
Much of Israel—the Promised Land, is comprised of desert. God uses the barren to refine and teach; to rebuke and train. There are countless lessons to be learned in a place we would not choose. And always waiting is the truth that God, if we keep our eyes fixed on Him, will see us through to the resplendent sanctuary for His glory and our joy.
This wilderness and solitary place has been made glad, this dreary desert now rejoices and blossoms like the rose; yea, it blossoms abundantly, and rejoices even with joy and singing.—Reverend James McGready quoted by William Speer in The Great Revival of 1800
©2021 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)