This is Day 19 of 40 days of the allegorical devotional fiction, The Woman in the Wilderness.
Joy welled over from the depths of her soul to the utterances of her lips as she sang song after song with all her might. When all her strength was spent, her throat sore, her laughter filled the silence. The weight within her fell away. The chaos in her mind came to a perfect still.
And in the quiet, she waited.
At first, she didn’t know what she was waiting for, only that she had to wait. Slowly, understanding came to her as she waited. For deliverance. For freedom. For strength.
She opened her eyes and found the abyss still there, but she barely noticed it, because it was as if she was seeing with new eyes. The kingdom felt so much more within reach than it ever did before.
As she waited, she saw the mist clear slowly but surely, uncovering the abyss that seemed far less threatening than it had been when she first saw it. She knew in her heart that there was going to be battle ahead, but she knew without a doubt that she’d be able to cross the abyss. She didn’t know how, but it was going to happen.
She could feel her strength return, remembering the promise in His letter that her strength would rise as she waited upon Him.
She rose to her feet, fists clenched, one word echoing in her mind: Glory. His presence surrounded her, embracing her, filling her with the courage she needed to go on.
Shoulders squared, eyes lifted up, a smile appeared on her face. He is a Shield about me. He is my Glory. He is the Lifter of my head.
A loud flutter of wings began to echo from the skies. She heard the cry of an eagle, though she couldn’t see one anyone near. Before she could fully comprehend what was happening, her feet lifted off the ground, and she was carried away, over the abyss and onto the other side.
She heard a war cry sound out from the abyss, and she shuddered for a moment at what was to come. She wasn’t going to reach the kingdom of light without a fight, but her decree was victory.
Her feet landed on the ground. Steady. The powerful flutter of eagle’s wings faded as the invisible bird disappeared, leaving only a single feather, floating in the air to remind her of Who her strength would come from.
She would need the reminder in the days ahead. There was yet much land left to trek in her wilderness, but she now had not only the strength to go on, but anticipation over the adventure that awaited her.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:3 (ESV)
Waiting on the Lord is perhaps one of the hardest disciplines a Christian has to learn, especially in a world like ours where there’s so much noise, so many distractions, so many things clamoring for our attention. It is, however, a discipline we need to learn, and the wilderness is a great place to cultivate this spiritual practice.
To be silent before Him, waiting for Him to do as He will – whether it is to speak to us or simply give us enough strength to breathe another day. When we wait on the Lord, it is an act of surrender, an acknowledgment of our dependency on Him. It is our way of setting our eyes on Him, the ultimate prize. It enables us to refocus, to reconfigure our mindsets so that we are looking towards His kingdom instead of on the impossibility of our circumstances.
I don’t know what your wilderness looks like. Mine often has seasons of solitude, sprinkled with just the right amount of fellowship. In my wilderness seasons, I’m tempted to run towards technology or entertainment or people to fill that abyss within me, but I have found that none satisfies like He does. And I find myself craving His presence, asking Him as Moses once did in the wilderness, “Oh God, show me now Your glory.”