Why are we so predisposed to simply try to get past our circumstances (trials, difficulty), and not content to go through them? We often wish we could just avoid the difficulty of the journey and get to the destination. The Israelites after their exodus weren’t any different. The same spirit of complaint, of grumbling, of avoiding the wilderness often resides inside our own hearts and minds.
Wanting to move past something is more than just avoidance. It is the subtle sabotage of the enemy who doesn’t want you to experience what God can do with your suffering. It’s the deception of believing that you know which way is best. It is the arrogance to assume that your path should only be paved with blessing and that blessing never comes wrapped in the form of suffering. The Father knows better.
Embracing the tests and the trials of the Lord’s leading is necessary. We must go through the wilderness to get to the promised land. The problem for us may be the same as it was for them. While we have gotten out of Egypt (the world), we did not leave all of Egypt behind, we are still carrying it with us.
What’s more, we have spent so much time in Egypt we have become more comfortable in our slavery to it, then our freedom from it. We know the path will take us through difficulty, doubt, and at times even despair. But that’s the point, we are being taken through. He has brought us through the baptismal waters, so that we may also go through the process of becoming mature sons. Maturity is the fruit of those who have braved the wilderness, and come out on the other side as ones who have persevered.
Jesus demonstrated this for us after he was baptized. After His baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Jesus went into it as a Son, and so He was unmoved by the tactics of the enemy. He didn’t try to get past the temptation, He went through it, and emerged victorious! The maturity of Jesus was revealed in His willing obedience to the Father.
You must stop trying to get past your current difficulty, and embrace the season of going through it. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).” The wilderness is meant to be painful, it is the place of discipline that the Father uses to reveal His son’s. The wilderness is necessary, to rid any last vestiges of Egypt. The wilderness is good, because through it alone, can we arrive at the land of promise.