There is a wonderful refrain in Isaiah 43, “I will make [for you], a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” This is the promise that God gives to us just before we launch into a new adventure. This is the promise that we hear just before something traumatic upsets the fruit basket of our lives. It’s Lent and the disciples are following Jesus towards Jerusalem. Things are about to get interesting. For the last three years, the Jesus movement has been enjoying the quiet hills of Galilee and steadily growing as people come out for picnics with the greatest story teller that ever lived. Now Jesus says that we are going to where he will be betrayed into the hands of angry men and crucified. Trauma. And after trauma, wilderness. When it happens to us, can we remember the promise about streams in the desert?
Life has three phases; growth, maintenance, and wilderness; which one are you in now? Note that trauma often accompanies the shift from one phase to another in life. Boom! We are born. That was pretty traumatic. But, it led to a long phase of growth for us as individuals. Then boom, a trauma, such as going off to war or getting married. Often we move right from growth to wilderness. Sometimes, though, we have a long phase in which we do our career or maintain things on an even keel. Then Jesus says, I’d like to do Jerusalem for the holidays, where I will be betrayed and handed… Boom. Trauma. Could be cancer. Could be the loss of one’s job. On the Saturday after the crucifixion, did the disciples remember the promise that God will provide a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert? Will we?
If you want to see more on Wilderness as expressed in Psalm 126, see http://billkemp.info/content/past-present-and-future