This is Day 1 of 40 days of the allegorical devotional fiction, The Woman in the Wilderness.
The Wilderness in Between
She stood on top of a hill. Her eyes traveled the distance in between, setting a firm gaze on her destination: the kingdom shining with His glorious light. He was there. The One she loved was there, and He was the reason she was embarking on this journey.
Her mind was occupied with one disconcerting thought: the paradox of having to pursue and seek Someone Who was right there with her. She shut her eyes. She could sense His abiding presence. He surrounded her. He was within her. He was a presence felt, yet not fully sensed. His presence not manifested was at the core of her dissatisfaction. She yearned to know Him as He knew her.
To hear You, to see You, to touch You… Her heart leaped with anticipation at the thought, but as she opened her eyes, His kingdom was still atop its distant hill and she was still atop hers. She shifted her gaze from her magnificent destination to the vast wasteland that was keeping her from Him. Her mind echoed a mimic of the psalmist’s ardent cries:
Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly and immediately be at rest – I would flee far away and stay where He is; I would hurry to Him, my Rest, far from the tempest and storm that bring chaos to my soul.
She stared in silent wonder as the sun began to rise over the wilderness. It would soon rise to its peak and its blazing heat would surely take its toll on her. She clutched the strap of the pouch that she had brought along with her. It was empty save for one enveloped letter – a love letter from Him. He had instructed her to take nothing from her past life with her – thus, her current predicament. She cast away any worries she had about the impossibility of completing this journey. She could not start defeated by doubt. She remembered a heartfelt prayer she once carelessly, but willingly, uttered one lovelorn moment: Take me through the fire.
Was this the fire? The test she had to go through? The cross she had to carry?
Once again, she shut her eyes, clinging to a hope that wasn’t coming from within her. It was a hope born out of a desperate need to be with the One she loves. It was a faith coming from the little understanding she had of Who He was. Through the wilderness she must go. It was the only way. His voice, no matter how faint a whisper it seemed, kept alluring her to take that one small step of faith into the great unknown.
Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.
“I want to be with You,” she whispered. “But…” If it is possible, let this cup pass from me, she wanted to say, echoing His words, but she dared not speak this half-meant plea, because she knew that just like it was for Him, there were no shortcuts, save for one – His redeeming Blood – the only thing that could cleanse her and make her worthy of a journey such as this. This journey was one she was determined to take and though she trembled at the thought, she decided that she was willing to pay whatever price was necessary to be with Love Divine. Thus, with a hopeful, Lovesick heart, she heaved a sigh and took that first step, trusting that it was the first among many leading to Him – the Lover of her soul.
6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 Indeed, I would wander far off,
And remain in the wilderness. Selah
8 I would hasten my escape
From the windy storm and tempest.”
Psalm 55:6-8 (NKJV)
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
Hosea 2:14 (NKJV)
At some point in our walk with God, we’ve been in this place. We have this vision of what our relationship with God could be like, what being part of His kingdom means, and yet reality is not the same as the hope and the vision. We struggle to spend time with Him. We struggle with obeying. We struggle with this and that and the thousand distractions – the windy storm and tempest – that pull us away from Him.
And in the midst of the struggle, we hear His constant, alluring voice, coaxing us to come away with Him. We want this. We want His kingdom to come alive in us, to be represented in our daily comings and goings.
Passion becomes a hunger. Discipline becomes a thirst.
None can satisfy but Him.
Consider this an invitation. An hour a day – or more if you can – come away. Wander far off into the wilderness, and let Him speak to you in the stark barrenness of the unknown.
He is waiting.
May the Spirit be to you as the wings of a dove that you may fly away into His presence and be at rest.
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