The Wilderness

The wilderness is one of the most powerful symbols we find throughout the Bible. It’s significant because it stands in contrast to the civilized world. In civilization, all your needs are met, you are protected from the elements and predators, there are lots of things to see and do, and you can be secure in your surroundings. However, out there is a whole different story. In the wilderness, you don’t know where your next meal or drink of water may come from, you don’t know where your next bed will be, you are at the mercy of the realities of nature, and you often feel alone. However, in the wilderness, there are no distractions and there are no protections. It’s just you and God. So it’s no surprise that our most powerful images of God’s might, protection, and provision for our needs come from times when people found themselves in the wilderness.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a wilderness even if we live in civilization. The Samaritan woman lived among the people in Sychar, but she was all alone in the crowd. She came to the well during the hottest part of the day to avoid the stares and whispers of her neighbors. And it’s here in the wilderness that she meets Jesus. This brief encounter at the well heals her, where she is most vulnerable and broken.  Just like the Israelites in the wilderness, this woman had to come to a place where God was all she had to realize that God was all she needed.

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