- What do you do when it feels like God is silent – that he has withdrawn from you?
- What do you do when it feels like the floor has fallen away and things around you are falling apart?
- What do you do when the consequences of your sins and failures comes knocking on your door?
- What do you do when the sins and failures of others impacts your life in significant and depressing ways?
The Wilderness is a spiritual place. Being in and going through the Wilderness is a spiritual discipline. Truth be told, God’s people experience the disorientation, pain, questions, and struggle of the Wilderness so often in the Bible that “The Wilderness” should be a required class in some kind of “Intro to Christianity” curriculum. Maybe there should be some “Wilderness Disclosure & Waiver Form” that followers of Christ should sign?
In Amos 8:1-3 & 11-14, there is a shift in God’s Word to his people. God moves from warnings about impending judgement and suffering to describing the Wilderness that his children are about to experience and suffer in Exile.
It is in the Wilderness that the question, “Where is God?!” suddenly and desperately becomes (much more) important to us. However, when we are in the wilderness, the “Where is God?!” question is met with silence and distance. Facing that deafening silence and experiencing that troubling distance, our minds scramble and protest: “How can that this be? What about all the promises in the Bible – that if we seek God we will find him and he will find us? Where is the Father of the Prodigal Son running with arms open-wide?”
Take some time to read, reflect, and meditate on Amos 8:1-3 & 11-14 as you prepare for worship this Sunday. While the experience of personal, physical, and geographic exile and slavery is hard for us to personally identify with, chances are you familiar with the barren and difficult spiritual place that is the Wilderness. It’s a place you have already and will experience again. This Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we’ll contemplate the painful reality of the Wilderness and consider the all important Wilderness question: “What do I have to do to get out of here?!”
Yours in Christ’s love,