Lessons from the Wilderness
By: Amanda Idleman
Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! - Psalm 63:3
Psalm 63 was written by David while he was alone in the wilderness of Judah. David had reason to be afraid, lonely, confused, and probably lacking in supplies. Yet, he writes a Psalm that declares his love, praise, and thankfulness for God’s presence in his life.
How often do we hit similar “wilderness” seasons in our life and react with the same level of praise and adoration that poured out of David’s heart for God? The more natural response would be to begin to call into question the character and nature of God when our life takes unexpected turns. How could a loving God allow this to happen? Where was God when I needed him? How can I trust God while the world suffers under the weight of sin and death?
While God is not afraid of our questions, He also is worthy of our praise no matter what circumstances we face in our lives. David gained a powerful sense of perspective in his wilderness season; he realized that what he needed more than anything else was a relationship with God. He declares that while his food options were pretty limited, God satisfied more than the richest feast (v.5) and he praised God joyfully!
Think of a time when you were unsure how your physical needs would be met. It could be a time that money was in short supply and you were unsure how you were going to make ends meet. It could be a season of sickness where you or someone you love no longer had the stamina to make it through the day the way they are accustomed to. Parents know these time periods well when they face sleep deprivation or navigate other parenting challenges.
Can you look back and see how God was present with you through that time? It’s not too late to sing His praise for the ways He has provided. Even if we aren’t like David, singing praises in the middle of the storm, we can still look back and thank God for His grace and provision through our own wilderness seasons.
God’s nature is constant despite the changing nature of the world we live in. David recognized God’s amazing loving nature even when he had reason to be discouraged. This is a great reminder to us that God is still good, still kind, still great, and still worthy of our praise even when the world suffers through chaos.
Beyond that, we see from David’s Psalms that the wilderness seasons are not wasted times. David was on the run, all alone, and definitely not being as productive as he could be, yet, some of the most beautiful psalms of praise were created in this season of his life. God used this time to grow David’s faith in the Lord.
It’s easy to get frustrated when our lives are forced to hit pause or when we feel lost and lacking purpose. God is still at work and still with us even in these uncomfortable seasons. He speaks to us in the wilderness. He grows our faith in these moments. He reveals to us more of who He is in the wilderness. God never wastes our pain.
When we feel stuck, we have the chance to look to the Lord with renewed passion and faith. We can open our ears to hear his voice with fresh fervor that our need produces in our hearts. As David did, we can still praise God beyond what we are seeing and trust that His love is still available to us in the hard moments life brings our way.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, also for the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
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