Thrive 365 May: Hope in the Wilderness

By: Garret Larsen

Posted: 5.12.20

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

The wilderness. If you are familiar with the Bible, you’ve heard about people spending time in the wilderness. Sometimes it is by choice, but most of the time it’s by force. Sometimes people spent a few days in the wilderness while others, like the Israelites, spent more than 40 years there!  Our current situation feels a bit like we’re in the wilderness. Things are different. The landscape has changed. Our daily lives have changed dramatically. There are less people around and the comforts of normal life can be hard to find. Honestly, we don’t really like this wilderness and we want to go back to normal life!  

When I think of Biblical wilderness, it’s not a pleasant picture. I envision a desolate landscape filled with dirt, hot sun, and few plants. The wilderness is uncomfortable and difficult to endure. Yet, it’s interesting to note that one of the definitions of a wilderness is “a part of a garden devoted to wild growth.”

There are multiple characters in the Bible that spent large amounts of time in the wilderness. Jesus, Moses, Job, Paul, John the Baptist, and David just to name a few. They all had different reasons for going to the wilderness, but there seems to be a common result as they came out of the wilderness; they grew!  It may not have been the way they wanted to grow, but one thing is for sure –  God uses time in the wilderness to shape and mold His people.  

There is no doubt about it – this season in the wilderness has been hard on all of us.  It has been difficult to endure and the return to normalcy seems to be far off in the distance. But I want you to know there is hope!  The Lord is doing something new in all of us!  Do you see it?  Do you see the “streams” that the Lord is putting in the middle of your wilderness time?  The streams may be more time with your kids, your spouse, or learning a new way to do things.  The streams may be a slower pace of life or a new perspective on priorities. Whatever your wilderness experience has been, don’t get stuck in a negative mindset that focuses solely on hardship & loss. Be on the lookout for what God is doing and lean into the growth the wilderness can provide!

Talk about it:

  1. What is something you have enjoyed about this time in quarantine?
  2. What parts of quarantine life do you want to keep as part of a new normal?
  3. What is one way you have seen God work during this time? 

Pray Together:

Lord thank you for another day. Thank you that you are in control and care for us, no matter where we are. I pray that today we will see the blessings that are all around us and dwell on those. In your name we pray, Amen.