It was not some unfortunate mistake that there was wilderness on the path to the land flowing with milk and honey. In the wildernesses I have traversed with the Lord, I have found myself impenetrably close to his side. When I was lost, hungry, and afraid; I clung to my Guide. Now that my belly is full of milk and my mouth full of honey; guidance is the furthest thing from my mind. He says “Remember” how I led you through darkness and carried you through difficult terrain. ”Do not forget” how I fed you in your desperation.
But comfort is loud and I cannot hear his calls over the sound of plenty.
This is why the wilderness comes before the promise. I do not listen for the commands of the God of my blessings; though I ached for the voice of the God of my salvation. Were it not for the wild days, when I awoke in hunger and immediately sought the Lord for directions to his manna; I would not know how to begin to find him in the days of feast. Here I am, living in the promised land. And I am terrified, all the while, that God will take it back. I am not listening for the voice of a God I know from personal experience to be generous because I am afraid that he will ask the same generosity of me. And if he does, my colors will show.
I have built walls around my blessings so high that I can’t see the people in need around me. I have written my name on the goodness of God and convinced myself that it is mine. The days when God’s manna made me seek him daily are long forgotten. He is at the door of the gifts he gave me, knocking. And I am on the other side looking through a small crack in my defenses. What if he brings me back to the wilderness?
… And there it was. The question that brought me so much pain that I avoided it until I had no choice but to answer it for myself. SO WHAT IF HE DOES? Open the door, you selfish fool! You need the fresh air of the wild world. The fumes of milk and honey have changed your sense of smell. You need the voice of God more today than you did in the wilderness. You need it to break your heart again. It has been safe for far too long.