“When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well… Moses agreed to stay with the man (Reuel) who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
Exodus 2: 15, 21-22
For 40 years, Moses lived in the desert as a fugitive, running from the only life he had ever known as Pharaoh’s adopted grandson. But that didn’t matter anymore. He had killed a man – an Egyptian. And because of that one action, Moses lost everything. That one decision would cost him 40 years in the wilderness.
Have you ever experienced what seems to be an unexpected life detour? These challenging or “wilderness” seasons can stem from the consequences to our OWN actions, our sin. This was the case with Moses. Other times, we experience these seasons because of the actions and sins of OTHERS. Jesus going to the cross as an innocent man is the ultimate example of suffering inflicted due to the sins of others.
Times of wilderness also occur simply because they are God’s will in that moment and God wants to shape and prepare us for something in the future. Jesus also experienced this third type of wilderness when the Holy Spirit led Him into a season of testing where Jesus was given a choice: to trust God unto the cross or claim the worldly power that the devil offered. Jesus chose to trust God.
A sudden “detour” or wilderness experience always offers us a choice in how to respond. Will it be for good or for bad? Will we allow God to walk with us through this season? Will we grow closer to Him or grow bitter? Will we resent God or allow God to shape and mold our character in the process?
The truth is, wilderness seasons are unavoidable. But we all have a choice in how we will respond. So, whether it’s the death of a loved one, serious financial struggles, heartbreak and rejection, or countless other trials and pain – remember that no matter what, God can STILL do a great work in our lives if we will trust Him and let Him.