During one of my drives home from the gym this week, I was listening to a podcast where an author on the show mentioned how sometimes we can feel like we’re in dry, desert seasons of life and we feel like we’re wandering spiritually. She gave the example of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, how even though God had brought Israel out of Egypt, He still needed to take Egypt out of them. He needed for them to be refined in His ways and break away from the ways they picked up from the Egyptians.
As I began to think about that, I’ve realized that’s what God has always done in my life. There have been times where it appears as though I’ve reached the top of a mountain, but it feels a lot like wandering in the desert, dying of thirst.
It’s easy for me, and perhaps you as well, to immediately blame ourselves for these times. If only we prayed more, read our Bible more, served more, or had just been “better” Christians, we wouldn’t be feeling like this—right?
Here’s what I’m learning: sometimes God takes you through the desert. And it sucks. At least at first.
In Exodus 13, Pharaoh finally lets the people of Israel go, and this is what the text says:
“…God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land … So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” (Exodus 13:17-18 NLT)
Did you catch that? God led them on a longer, more inconvenient, roundabout path that would have them barreling straight for the Red Sea—the setting where one of His greatest miracles was about to take place.
For us, especially as Americans, we want the quickest, easiest path. But sometimes for God to use you greatly and do a miracle through you He has to do a miracle in you. He needs to take Egypt out of you, not just take you out of Egypt, so to speak.
Maybe that’s where you’re at right now. It feels as if your life is taking the most inconvenient route, and you’re wondering if you’ll ever make it to the Promised Land. Here’s what I know: the settings for God’s greatest miracles often come from our greatest trials and disappointments.
If life isn’t quite going your way right now and you feel stuck in the wilderness, perhaps God is about to do a miracle in you and through you that is far greater than you ever imagined.