I love the outdoors and nature, but I do not like camping!
Our family went camping once! My husband and son said, “Come on! It will be fun! There’s nothing better than food cooked out over a campfire!”
We borrowed my brother-in-law’s tent, packed the ice chests, and lots of bags full of food, paper goods, and cooking supplies, grabbed Grandma, and drove to Arkansas to camp for the weekend.
The first night it rained, and we awoke to a stream of water flowing through our tent! I guess my brother-in-law forgot to tell us it leaked!
The family said, “Well, that’s that. Let’s pack up and go home.”
“What, go home? I don’t think so. We came to camp!”
“But, it’s raining, and by the looks of things, it’s not going to stop!”
“Find me an umbrella because we’re going to eat food cooked out over a campfire. I’ve heard there’s nothing like it!”
We did pack up camp, but only after the family held the umbrella over my head while I cooked, and I must confess, it was delicious!
What started out being a wet and messy outing turned out being one of our most memorable weekends, and we still laugh about it to this day.
Cloud by day
Fire by night
Follow His way
Walk in the Light
When the Light stops
It’s time to stop, too
He’s providing a place
Of complete rest for you.
My camping trip lasted 24 hours. I cannot imagine leaving Egypt to go on a 40-year camping trip in the wilderness, but I do know what it’s like to have a “wilderness experience.”
If you’ve ever been in a “wilderness experience,” you know what I’m talking about. It’s a tough time full of trials and God-ordained testing.
When I’m in the wilderness, I want out of it as soon as possible. Everything in me screams, “I don’t like this!” No matter how many times I ask God to come to get me, I know He’s not going to until it is time.
I want to move through each trial as quickly as possible. Let’s keep moving. No camping for me, but that’s not how it works, so we camp. Who knows for how long?
There are several biblical examples of people enduring a “wilderness experience.”
- The children of Israel – 40 years
- The prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:1–9)
- The apostle Paul (Galatians 1:17–18)
- The patriarch Job – several months
- Jesus (Mark 1:12–13)
The length of time is different for everyone. It might be a day, week, months, or years. I don’t know, but I do know you move when God says to move, and you camp when He says to camp.
I would much rather move through the wilderness as quickly as possible. Resting feels like a waste of time, but it really isn’t. While God is testing our faith, He is building in times of rest so that we can endure. Mercy & Grace at it’s best!
The same God who created the garden also created the wilderness. The God of grace meets us in the wilderness. Missionary Amy Carmichael knew this truth: “Bare heights of loneliness . . . a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to HIM? Even there He can refresh us, even there He can renew us.”
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12