“When the wind finally stopped, Ordinary stood to his feet. But as far as he could see, there was only sand. The path to his Dream had disappeared completely. Obviously, his entire trip through the Wasteland had been a waste!” –The Dream Giver, By Bruce Wilkerson
Ohhhh the Wasteland. Moses had a Wasteland before God used him to deliver the Children of Israel. David had many cavernous Wastelands before he was crowned king. And more than likely, you and I will have at least one Wasteland experience before we fulfill God’s purpose in our lives.
WHAT IS A WASTELAND?
A Wasteland is any dry, desert experience that leaves us feeling like we are alone, and that God is not paying attention to our cries for help. For example, I have a friend whose job is her Wasteland. She feels isolated and alienated despite being in an office full of people. She prays daily for God to provide her with a different job but so far nothing has happened. And so in her mind, every day that she goes to work, she is walking into her personal Wasteland.
WHAT CAUSES A WASTELAND?
In looking at Biblical examples, it seems that Wastelands are either caused by disobedience – think Adam and Eve being expelled from the garden. Or as part of a testing/rite of passage for the Lord to prove the individual that is destined for greatness. One example of this is when the Lord told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac:
“And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”– Genesis 22:12
SURVIVING THE WASTELAND
In order to survive your personal Wasteland experience, do the following:
- Remind yourself that you are not alone. Most Christ followers have had Wasteland experiences. And every notable Bible character had at least one Wasteland experience that ended up making them stronger, wiser, and better equipped to undertake the task that God had given them.
- Memorize scripture. Use your Where-Is-God-In-All-This feeling to embed God’s promises in your mind. This will bolster your faith foundation, and keep you from sinking into despair as you navigate your Wasteland experience.
- Try not to overreact. Dry seasons are part of the human experience. Being in the Wasteland doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done something wrong, or that you have 40 years of wandering ahead of you. Spend time encouraging yourself in the Lord as King David did when the people were talking of stoning him.(1 Samuel 30:6)