What should we pray for when we’re “sent out into the wilderness”? Streams in the dessert!

We all can agree. All can identify with the feeling of being “sent out into the wilderness” where we are full of pain and can see no clear path forward – like Israel’s exodus Babylon. Yet, when Israel was in Babylon, this is what God said.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

One commentary has this to say about these verses. “The original exodus did not exhaust God’s power but provided a pattern of new exodus-like deliverances. The Jewish exiles should not live in the past but should look for God to bring them home from Babylon through another ‘exodus.’ A way in the wilderness. Where there is no clear path forward, God creates one. Rivers in the desert. Where there is no natural relief or refreshment, God provides it.”

For me, Isaiah clearly tells us that God is not a God of keeping everything the same. God is a God where he has provided a path for us to grow, and use and improve the skills that we have been gifted with. In these verses, we can clearly see that when we are at a place where there is no clear path forward, where we don’t know where to take our next step, when pain threatens to paralyze us, God creates a path forward. God provides rivers in the desert. Where no water exists for our sustenance, God creates nourishment for us. It just takes baby steps on our part to learn to see it. 

God knows when we are in pain. And, each time he sees us in distress, he provides for us that which we need. The greatest example of God seeing our pain and providing confident expectations of a great future is when Christ died on the cross for each and every one of us. He endured immense pain and strife. He endured OUR pain and strife. He paid the price for OUR mistakes, not His. He showed us that he understands. He showed us that there is an end to our suffering. He showed us that when we are done with this suffering that we are going to a great place. 

Still, we have to have the perspective to see that we do have a choice. We have to have the perspective to know that we need to make a decision to search for the confident expectations that God is holding out to us, the hope that God has shown to us over and over. 

God cannot force hope upon us. We have to choose it. We have to choose to see it. Stories upon stories exist that show us that God can do it and DOES do it! Even so, we have to experience the stories in our own lives. We have to “know” for ourselves that God can truly take care of us. Each experience produces endurance. Each experience builds trust. Then, trust yields it’s perfect result in the form of confident expectations that we will always be taken care of. 

If you feel like you’re in the wilderness right now, pray for hope. Pray for hope. Pray for hope and look for answers in unexpected places. He’s waiting.

“Turning today’s pain into confident expectations for a great tomorrow.”

3 thoughts on “What should we pray for when we’re “sent out into the wilderness”? Streams in the dessert!

    1. Absolutely. For the many times that I’ve found myself in tough times, I’ve prayed for the same things. Still, for me, I couldn’t shake the idea of the Apostle Paul maintaining such strong faith after going through so many challenges (shiprecked, stoned, jailed, etc.). His constant kingdom-focus attitude has always amazed me. And, with that kingdom-focus came such skills as strength, powerful words, and the ability to know what direction to choose.

      For me, when I started to look at the lives of Isaiah and Paul closer, I found they both had confident expectations, really, really confident expectations that God did, and always would, take care of them. And, that hope was strengthened by the trust they had developed from all of the past events when God had taken care of them.

      Sorry, I just looked at the time. I need to get to church.

      Faith gives us strength. Faith provides insight for us to know what to do next. And, faith is trust plus hope.

      The greater our confident expectations that God will take care of us, the greater strength that we will have, and the greater knowledge that we will have for our next step.

      So, I agree. Pray for strength and pray for direction. And, pray for hope, which is our gas tank.

      Hope that helps.

      Thanks for a great comment and insight.

      I’m going to be writing a whole lot more about this.


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