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Hope in the Desert

For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD

Psalm 117:2

The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. He is faithful and He is faithful and He is faithful.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the Exodus. Because of the Lord’s goodness, grace, and love towards his people, He frees the Israelites from captivity in Egypt. The Israelites praised the Lord for His goodness towards them. For the Lord had promised the Israelites that he would deliver them out of the affliction in Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey – the Promise Land (Exodus 3:17).

It wasn’t too long after their journey began that the Israelites started to forget the goodness of the Lord and they began to exchange the truth of the Lord’s faithfulness for a lie and began to worship the creature instead of the creator (Romans 1:25).

Because the Israelites dishonored the Lord, “the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone” (Numbers 32:13).

Despite the Israelites wandering, the Lord continued to be faithful and he continued to care for his people.

The Lord weaved his miracles in and through the Israelites wanderings. Manna from the sky (Exodus 16) – water from the rock (Exodus 17). The Lord was faithful to his people.

There are times in my life where feel as though I am wandering in the very same dry desert as the Israelites – lacking spiritual water and food. It is in these times that I have witnessed the very miracles of God – my very own manna from the sky and water from the rock.

In the valley and in the desert – on the mountaintop and in the lush green fields – it is the Lord who goes before us and behind us. It is the Lord who prepares a path for us. We too often forget the truth of God’s word when David writes in Psalm 23:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

It is Christ before us and Christ behind us. God promised his people that he would deliver them to the promise land. God is faithful – hold onto his promises because it is in times when you are wandering that if you are looking, you will witness the very miracles of God. That is why we continue onward – it is the hope of the gospel, the love of Christ, and the joy to come that compel us to move forward in the dry land.

 

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Ansley Rikard

Ansley Rikard is an undergraduate student at Wake Forest University. She is studying Communication and hopes to attend Physicians Assistant school upon graduating. For her, home is Charlotte, North Carolina. Ansley loves to laugh, but above all else, she loves the Lord, her family, and her friends.

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