Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Experiencing God in the Wilderness

Here we are at summer camp in Arkansas. This year’s theme is “Experiencing God in the Wilderness.”

What words come to your mind when you think of the wilderness?

The wilderness is referenced often in the Bible. It is described as land that is basically wild and sparsely inhabited or unfit for permanent human settlement. It may be desert, mountains, forest, or marsh. In some sense, man has been living in the wilderness ever since Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden.

What experiences come to your mind when you think of the wilderness?

Here is how the Israelites felt when they were in the “great and terrible” wilderness as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land:
Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:11–12

Often the wilderness feels like a place where God doesn’t seem to care, God doesn’t seem to be speaking, and God doesn’t seem to be in control and all is lost. Can you relate?

This week we are learning that:
The wilderness is all of life outside the garden…
a place where God cares for us and we learn dependence;
a place where God speaks to us and we learn to listen;
a place where God redeems us and we learn to believe.

Let’s pray together:
Lord, in the wilderness of my life today, help me to depend on You, hear from You and believe You for the impossible.