Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.Deut. 8:2
Forty years in the desert was supposed to humble the children of Israel instead it made them bitter. Somehow they were able to forget the misery of slavery and remembered only that life in Egypt was more predictable. Eventually, they even forgot why an eleven-day journey through the desert had turned into forty years.
They learned and forgot the lessons of the desert and so do we.
We grumble when we do not get the food that we want when we want and the way we want it. When He provides we are bored with His provisions. In essence, sometimes He leads us into the desert at other times we make a desert out of the land that once flowed with milk and honey.
Jesus, as the new Adam, the new human, turns all this around by refusing to forget. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (Jn. 4:34). This is true of me, unless I do not like what He serves.
To know Jesus, to know “the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, [to become] like him in his death,” is to remember as He remembered (Phil. 3:10).
If we are to be with Him in His moment of shame, in His moment of triumph, we must remember why we are there. We are there because we are criminals, me on one side you on the other. He is there because He is righteous, but loves us. We dare not forget these truths—who we are and who He is. He has passed out test and now we can become who the Father has called us to be in the Jesus His Son.
Perhaps our period of testing will be forty years and perhaps it will be longer. Perhaps we are there because of our sings and perhaps it is simply for our transformation. What matters is that the Father loves us. We know this because “while we were still sinners,” the Father, in love, sent Christ to die for us (Rom. 5:8).
Though we may grow thirsty—the Father has provided the river of life.
Though we may grow hungry— the Father has provided the bread of life.
Though it may grow dark— the Father has provided the light of the world.
Though we may doubt— the Father has provided the truth.
Though we may grow lonely—the Triune God we serve will never leave me nor forsake us.We may wander—but Jesus is the way the Father.