At some point in our life we all find ourselves in a wilderness place. A place that is dark, unknown, and not a place where we would purposely choose to go. It can feel like the worst place to be as we are are wandering looking for direction, wondering what God is doing, and waiting for something to change.
The good news is that God does some of His best work in wilderness places. When you remember that God is with you and for you, when you realize that there is purpose in this place because He is present in this place, you can discover that the wilderness can become the best worst place you could ever be.
I found myself in a wilderness place several years ago as I processed some major life decisions. I was overwhelmed and felt like I was wandering through that season of life. I was wondering what God was doing and I was waiting for direction. I was overwhelmed and felt lost.
Thankfully, I had three guys who were traveling companions during that leg of the journey. Even though we lived in different cities very far fem each other, we decided to meet together for several days in a hotel room in North Carolina to be together, seek direction together, and encourage each another on the journey. I am very thankful for my three friends and the role that weekend played in helping me navigate that wilderness.
During those couple of days together, one of them gave us a copy of a prayer by Thomas Merton. I keep it on the bulletin board above my desk and it has served me well as a wilderness wanderer’s prayer.
Here is that prayer:
A PRAYER: By Thomas Merton
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself…and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Question: What gives you hope and help when you find yourself wandering, wondering, and waiting in the wilderness?
*If you would like to watch the sermon series called The Wander Years, you can watch them on the Live Oak Community Church website. It is a 7 week series that runs April 12 through May 24, 2015.