We call it the 40 years of wandering or the 40 years of wilderness…that period of time in the Bible when God lead His people the longer way around out of protection for them. He knew that the shorter route would bring about battles that they were not ready to conquer. Therefore, God intentionally brought them through the wilderness because He wanted to transform them; He was after building something deeper into the very core of their being.
There have been plenty of times in my life when I have asked God the “why” question.
There have also been numerous times when I have chosen to complain about my circumstances instead of asking God what I could learn from them.
What about you?
How have you responded to the wandering or wilderness seasons of your life?
I’ve had the honor of traveling to Israel four times in the past eight years. My adventures there started off with volunteer and missions work. Then I called Jerusalem home for three months, soaking up every bit of the culture that I possibly could. Recently, my dream came true in leading an amazing team of dancers there to connect and collaborate with other artists. In trying to describe how I feel when I am in the Land, one of my friends said to me, “You don’t know Hebrew but when you’re in Israel, it’s as if you belong there.” This couldn’t be truer.
Throughout the years, I’ve had many people ask me questions about Israel or inform me of their grave concerns in someone traveling there. For now, I’ll stick with question number one:
“What’s it like?”
I could go on and on for hours about the tastes, smells, sights & feels. However, I have a short amount of time to keep your attention and there is something that I want to highlight today. It’s one word. It holds a significant meaning for me as I feel God has been teaching me about this word over and over again. So…here we go.
Israelis are by far the most resilient, firm, steady and unwavering people I have ever met.
They have been through hell on earth and yet, still chose to stand strong.
They have experienced attack after attack and yet are braver because of it.
They are hated by many and yet, will not back down.
They are not victims. They are conquerors.
I believe the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness was purposed to excavate the victim mentality from the Jewish people. Their story teaches us that we are not victims to our circumstances and we ALWAYS have a choice in how we will respond. I believe the Jewish people are so resilient because of the wars, the tension, the disobedience, the wandering…they have learned how to stand firm facing great opposition. They know they are the chosen people and they stand firm in their identity. They are stronger because of…not weaker because of...
The choice is the determining factor in how resilience will be formed in you and I. The choice is not fashioned around “getting out of the wilderness.” The choice is about walking through it knowing there is a great purpose and beauty beyond what we can see. May we know more today that we are stronger because of the tension, the conflicts, the stressors, the lack and the emotional ups and downs.
Isaiah 60:5 “Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy.”
Jesus, thank you for the resilience you are building in each of us. We are so grateful for the wilderness because there are things that can only be learned here & we want the longevity transformation, not just the quick fix. Amen.