Unpleasant circumstances come to us all. Trouble is no respecter of persons. To add insult to injury, for believers, there isn’t a promise land without a process.
God had quite a job on His hands. He had just taken Israel out of Egypt, but now He had to get Egypt out of Israel. Deliverance is the miracle of a moment, whereas development requires process.
Israel had a wilderness to traverse. In their wilderness they were learning about their God, themselves, and their mission. They had to experience bitterness, frailty, impossibility, and hunger. Through every moment they learned valuable but hard lessons. The great Teacher was teaching and all the while His people were learning.
While God didn’t remove them from their wilderness, He did provide His Spirit. He manifested Himself as a cloud by day and fire by night. That must have been something to write home about. Amazing.
What these two things offered the people of God were priceless.
- Cloud – shaded them from the heat of the wilderness.
- Fire – gave them heat during the cold nights.
- Both – guided and undergirded. They guided the movement of Israel. They undergirded Israel with the strength of knowing that God was with them.
God never promised to remove us from bad circumstances. He never promised that you wouldn’t get sick. God never said that your family would always love you. I can’t find where there is a promise that guarantees we wouldn’t be hurt by others, etc.
But what God does do is provide priceless help in our circumstances. Through His presence He makes our unbearable moments bearable. There will be just enough of His presence heating up our bitter cold trial. When we are going through the furnace of affliction, He will give us enough shade to endure to the end. Throughout our hell, we will feel His presence enough to give us strength, and stand on the fact that He is guiding us through and into.
Next time you find yourself in the barren wilderness, look up, look around, and look in. Jesus is there. He wants you to feel Him. He wants to help you through this, so that you can get that.