Today, I went on fieldwork.
Or what was supposed to be fieldwork.
Upon arrival at our destination, we find out that the person who was to host our OT (Occupational Therapy) class wasn’t there. Either he’d forgotten we were coming today or just had a mix up of schedules. I don’t really know.
So what was supposed to be to be a 2-3 hour visit turned into a less than 20 minute tour of the place we went to then we were on our way back to campus. I decided to sit by the window this time and take in the scenery since its both an area I’m not familiar with and a township. Along the way, I noticed a little yellow car parked in the middle of nowhere. So I start trying to figure out how it got there, tracing a possible detour route from the actual street to the little sand-hill on which the car was parked. As my mind traces this and my eyes scan the area, I notice two people who are dressed in their church’s uniform having seemed to ‘set up shop’ a few steps from the car. By the looks of it, they were about to pray there.
It got me thinking. I found it interesting that they’d picked such a desolate place to come and worship. In a way, they’d chosen to worship in the ‘wilderness’.
I was so focused on figuring out what was going on, I forgot to take a picture of the yellow car. But this is the desolate area. It spanned quite a distance.
In truth, these people could have chosen to worship in the comfort of their own homes, but you see, in life, we won’t always be in comfortable places/situations. It is at that point that we are to learn to worship God wholeheartedly.
Often, our seasons of being in the wilderness in a particular aspect of our life comes right after having been delivered from something that was holding us captive. Be it a mental bondage, an addiction, the chains of people’s opinions etc.
Like the children of Israel in the book of Exodus who had been held captive by the Egyptians, finally being set free from that bondage is the reason they found themselves in the wilderness. But that uncomfortable time and space was not without purpose.
“Let my people go, that they may worship me in the wilderness” – Exodus 7:16
The goal of this deliverance was so that they could worship God in a place that looked like it had nothing to offer. And that’s probably because it did have nothing to offer, so in this place the children of Israel had to learn to lean on God for EVERYTHING. For comfort, protection, and provision. For the daily quenching of their literal hunger and thirsts.
Today, you may not be in a physical desert, but there is a part of you, a part of your spiritual/emotional/financial life that hungers and thirsts for more of God. Your wilderness might manifest in the form of brokenness, desolation, disappointment, discouragement, isolation, tiredness etc. Whatever it is, see it as a place to encounter God and experience Him for who He truly is, and who He wants to be for you.
“There is no worship without wilderness. There can be no worshipful joy of salvation until we have realised the lamentable wilderness of what we were saved from, until we begin to understand just what it cost Jesus to come and find us and be that perfect provision in the wilderness” –– excerpt from Chapter 3: A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card
I believe God saying He wanted to free the children of Israel so they could worship Him IN the wilderness alludes to the fact that we have the innate ability to worship Him even when we’ve come to the end of ourselves. We are capable of worshiping even when everything around us looks hopeless and we have no more fight left in us. Remember where He has taken you from, and that he is the God who never changes. If He did it before, he can do it again.
Today I leave you with a song that serves a reminder that as children of God we’ve been delivered – set free – so that we can worship the Lord with nothing holding us back.
Song: Free worshiper by Todd Dulaney
Love & light to You & yours
– Xo, Jo 🌺