“The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The sons of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly…” – Exodus 16:2-3 (truncated)
How often do we accuse God of leading us into the wilderness to die? “It would have been better for You to leave me in the slavery of my sin…”
No matter where you are, there will be (or is now) a time in your life when the Spirit will lead you into the desert. It is not to break you but to bend you. It is not to crush you but to humble you. It is not for evil but for good, for love!
God has never sent us into the depths of despair but while ready to pull us out. The problem, though, is that most of us want Him to pull us up when we think we’re ready, when we think the trial is over, when we have deemed it enough. Yet we often forget: you are not the Master, dear reader.
Years ago, I learned something about how knives are hardened. In the final stages of the creation of a knife, just before the final edge is put on, the steel is hardened. To do this, it is raised to an incredible, intense temperature. When it reaches this intense temperature, it is then trust into a frigid, freezing vat of oil or water. From here, the knife is reheated and re-frozen (pardon my parlance). This process can happen multiple times, until the right hardness is achieved.
Once the knife is properly hardened, it can have a final edge and be ready for regular use. Without this hardening, the smallest use of the knife could take the edge off or, worse yet, nick the knife! A knife, to be effective, must withstand the pressures it will be put under, which vary with the knife’s purpose.
In my own trials, I have found that the Father will sometimes allow me to be heated until I can bear no more (or so I think), and then I can be suddenly dunked in a freezing solution which leaves me shivering from the cold. I have even experienced this roller-coaster in rapid succession. But my knowledge of knives reminds me that He is building the character in me that He desires for me to be useful for the plans He has in mind (Jeremiah 29:11).
Whether you are merely in the desert, or on an up-down roller-coaster, like a newly created knife, know that the Master Smith is behind it all. He has the designs for where you will go, what you will be used for, and how this process is effective. He may even be using you to train another, encouraging them by your endurance or chiding them by your faithfulness or giving them wisdom by how you listen and share what He has given you.
Don’t fear the desert, and do not despise His craftsmanship, but grab Him in a bear-hug, and trust in His absolutely incomprehensible love! He loves you, dear reader! He sent His Son, Jesus, who died and rose again just to make a way to a relationship with you! Let Him show you what He has planned!
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
Vires et Honorem – 1 Corinthians 15:10