Join us in our Lenten journey as we contemplate
the various kinds of wilderness we all experience
and how God has met our needs and more in Jesus Christ.
Nobody goes through life without experiencing some personal wilderness.
Loneliness is a personal wilderness.
The loneliest I can ever remember feeling was at a concert in a stadium with about 20,000 other people with whom I felt no connection whatsoever. I went to the concert because a friend asked me if I wanted to go and I wanted to be cool. But when I was at the concert, I realized I was totally out of place. It was lonely.
Have you experienced loneliness? That’s a kind of wilderness.
Sometimes I just wonder what life is really all about. Do you?
That’s a kind of wilderness.
Wilderness is pain, struggle, groping into the unknown, wondering about the future.
I have also done some things I regret. Some were just poor decisions, which is bad enough. But some things I have chosen have hurt other people. That feels like wilderness to me.
Have you ever had to live with bad consequences from something you did (or didn’t do)?
That’s a kind of wilderness.
Sometimes it feels like nobody really gets you. There is an inherent isolation in being human because nobody can read your thoughts or feel your feelings.
That’s a kind of wilderness. Have you been there?
People in the Bible experienced all the kinds of personal wilderness that you and I experience.
God typically did not rescue them from the wilderness.
The reason is that we grow in our personal wilderness. If God rescued us from our wilderness times, he would be denying us the very growth that will benefit our lives and our souls.
Sometimes we don’t handle our personal wilderness well. Then it takes longer and is more painful.
Don’t do that. You can learn to handle your personal wilderness times.
During this Lenten season, Pastor John and Journey of Life Lutheran Church will be considering times of personal wilderness in the lives of various biblical characters.
We will see their all-too-human pain and suffering. We will also see what we can learn from their personal wilderness to strengthen and guide us as we face our personal wilderness times.
Adam and Eve faced the wilderness of not knowing and having to trust God. They couldn’t take it and sin entered the world.
Elijah felt like was the only God-fearing man left. It turns out he wasn’t.
The Israelites got impatient with God’s work. It cost them forty years in the desert.
Jesus was lauded by a crowd on Palm Sunday who completely misunderstood who he was and what his mission was.
You will experience personal wilderness, whether it’s as intensely personal as soul-piercing loneliness or as large as existential angst and a hunger for a sense of purpose.
You don’t have to go into your personal wilderness times unprepared. And you don’t have to walk through them alone.
As Journey of Life walks through Lent contemplating Life in the Wilderness, you have two opportunities before you.
First, come to church at Journey of Life every Sunday morning from March 5 – April 2, 2017, and grow with us through this powerful Lenten sermon series. Visit www.journeyoflife for more information.
Second, if you are not in the area or not inclined to attend church, visit the Life in the Wilderness area of our website (www.journeyoflife.org/life-in-the-wilderness). You can be a virtual participant in our Life in the Wilderness series.
I know that everyone goes through wilderness times.
I certainly have.
But I also know the difference that faith and community can make during those times.
I hope you will join us either online or in person.
Visit www.journeyoflife.org for more information. Scroll down and click on the “Life in the Wilderness” banner to go to the Life in the Wilderness Landing page. From there you can get more Life in the Wilderness resources and subscribe to a special 7-week Life in the Wilderness email list.
I hope we can connect because everyone goes through the wilderness.
Don’t go through your personal wilderness alone and unprepared.
Join us on our Lenten journey either virtually or in person.
Life in the Wilderness
Updated on 2017-03-02T20:24:38+00:00, by .