Wandering In The Wilderness

“And 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 consumed (gone).”

Numbers 32:13

We recently took a trip to San Diego, California and we decided to rent a house to stay for several days. We did not plan a lot of activities, but we thought we would hit up some local attractions. Although I have been there quite a few times, I still needed general directions to get around to places we wanted to visit. I have newfound appreciation for Phoenix’s highway system as it much easier to navigate than that of California. The streets in the Valley of the Sun are laid out like a grid and there is usually an exact mile between streets and avenues. California is not laid out this way and I took four different freeways to go less than ten miles to my desired destination, and I was grateful for Rebekah guiding me along the way. I thought this was bad, but the next night would prove more challenging, well, at least to me anyway.

We decided to go to Coronado Bay to enjoy the beach over there, and we made a day of it while we shopped and ate some delicious food. It was time for us to go back to our rented house, so I followed the directions Rebekah gave me and drove on the bridge that would lead us back to San Diego. We decided to take a quick stop at the mall, so I was instructed to take a right coming off of the bridge. Well, I took a hard right instead of a slight right, and I ended back up on the streets again. I then took another right turn which landed me back on the bridge which took me back to the same island I just left. Rebekah then told me to take a u-turn in order to get back to where I needed to go, and I was not so grateful for her commonsense instruction.

I was a bit frustrated as we cruised around the freeways of California, with gas costing me $6.09 just for the trouble. I seemed to wander around for hours, but it was only 15 minutes or so. We finally made it to the mall and I was grateful to be off of the confusing California interstate. I am grateful for technology and the directions it offers as I hate to be lost, and I hate to be just spinning my wheels. I was wandering around for only 15 minutes, and I cannot imagine what it would be like to be wandering for over 40 years as a consequence of not following directions from Almighty God. God sometimes allow us to wander because we are unwilling to submit to His will.

There have been times when I did not know where I was going in life, and there were times when I was flat out lost. I did not know what I was to be doing with my life. I thought this way early after high school graduation and into my early 20s. I felt like I was supposed to have the proverbial wife, two kids, picket fence and a dog, but it is hard to do that when you have no money and no wife prospects. I also felt this way after being fired from a job that I did not realize I would be leaving anytime soon. It made me revaluate all my life’s decisions, and those months without a job felt like an eternity and I wondered if I would find employment again. Although these were times of “wandering” as I did not know of the next steps, I have faced other types of wandering that had nothing to do with my employment status.

If you are like me, you have wandered spiritually at times because you did not want to submit to God’s will. You tried to serve two masters and failed miserably in doing so. You have gone through tough times in life that brought you back to the same point much like me and my trip to Coronado Island.
Where are you headed today? Are you wandering on the “California freeways” or are you walking the path God is leading you? May it not take us 40 years to learn what God is teaching us, and may we surrender to His perfect will for our lives.

Stay in the Fight!

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