Have you ever gone to the mall (pre-covid), found the mall map, and looked for the “you are here” locater, so you could get your bearings straight and head in the right direction to find what you were looking for?
In Lewis Carrol’s novel, Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks a question to the Cheshire cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" To which the cat answered, “If you don't know where you want to go, then it doesn't matter which path you take.”
That is the question, isn’t it? Which way should I go? Of course, that begs another question … where are you right now? You are here, but where is here? If you cannot answer that question, it may be because, you feel or know that you are lost.
I know the feeling. I do not know where I want to go … I just know I do not want to be here, but where is here? Here might be feelings of despair, disappointment, or discouragement. Here might be feelings of isolation, indifference, or indecision. Here might just be a spiritual wilderness.
A “wilderness experience” is usually thought of as a tough time in which a believer endures discomfort and trials. The pleasant things of life are unable to be enjoyed, or they may be absent altogether, and one feels a lack of encouragement. A “wilderness experience” is often a time of intensified temptation and spiritual attack. It can involve a spiritual, financial, or emotional drought. Having a “wilderness experience” is not necessarily a sign that a believer is sinning; rather, it is a time of God-ordained testing. gotquestions.org
I have found myself on many occasions over the course of my life wandering in a spiritual wilderness. It was uncomfortable, difficult, humbling and even lonely. But I found that there are lessons to be learned in the wilderness. In the wilderness, I was trying to understand how I got here, what I needed to learn and where God might be taking me. I found that some spiritual wildernesses were because God wanted to show me something about myself. Other times, my spiritual wilderness was to show me or teach me something about who God was.
The Psalmist writes … Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; Psalm 86:11 and Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4–5
In the wilderness ... we seek, we wait, we learn, we commune with our Lord, we fight against temptation and fall into the grace of our Lord. The wilderness can actually be -no, actually is a good thing - for He is with us in the wilderness!