the wanderers & the wilderness

the israelites were wanderers. they wandered in their faith, all to easily distracted by golden calves. they wandered in their hearts, becoming rebellious & disillusioned and as a result, they physically wandered in deep wilderness for forty years.
"the christian life is this, that your internal realities become your external realities." 
{b. johnson}
they wandered internally & so they wandered externally. they were anchorless & their hearts drifted & got lost & tangled up in all that wilderness. and that is where i have been. in the wilderness of the heart. all tangled up & lost in this unfamiliar terrain. until i realized the manna. life giving, hunger quenching manna. God's miraculous nourishment falling from heaven daily. manna literally meaning "what is it?"

"when we are despairing, we can choose to live as israelites gathering manna. hungry, they chose to gather up that which had no meaning. more than 14,600 days they take their nourishment from that which they don't comprehend. they find soul-filling in the inexplicable. they eat the mystery. they eat the mystery. and the mystery, that which made no sense, is 'like wafers of honey' on the lips."
 {ann voskamp, on thousand gifts, p. 22}

the wilderness can be a disorienting, terrifying place. it's the kind of suffering that can eat a person up from the inside out. but in the baffling, lostness of the wilderness, this manna, this "what is it?" question has been freedom to me. choosing to gather the manna bread crumbs & eat the mystery. although the purpose be latent & hidden at times, nothing is wasted. not even in the wilderness. and that is a great comfort to me, that this too has a purpose & it is to prosper me. to provoke me into the Presence of Peace himself. 

it is in the darkest moments of this wilderness that i have tasted the deepest, purest Shaloam. the kind of Shaloam that John talks about. soul prosperity. mental wholeness. tangible, grip-able peace. it's in the torrents of the raging sea, i have found the place of rest. soul restoring, lie destroying, war waging rest.  the kind of rest that leads to the promise land.
"the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."
 {romans 16:20}
those poor israelites never got to see their hard sought for promise land. never got to taste the honey, drink the milk of their inheritance. and unlike them, i will find my way out of the wilderness. and i will arrive on the other side of the Jordan stronger, more resilient & most of all, clearer & closer to the One who was there the whole time. my anchor. my ever present help.
"because you are my help, i sing in the shadow of your wings." 
{psalm 63:7} 

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