WILDERNESS: The Wilderness—Everyone Has One by Brian & Candice Simmons

Where Miracles Are Born

The Wilderness—Everyone Has One by Brian & Candice Simmons

From The Wilderness

When you see the word miracles paired with wilderness in the title of this book, you might think, Are you kidding?  We all love the word miracle, but wilderness – not so much!  We’ve all experienced difficult seasons at one time or another and have hoped for that instantaneous miracle to appear.  Over and over you can hear the cry of our hearts through the psalmist, King David, as he says:

How long, O Lord?
When will you answer my cry?
Why must I wait so long for your promise to be fulfilled?

We can all identify with those words, for we’ve all had unresolved issues surface in our journey with Christ.  So in spite of what others may tell you, the Christian journey is not a life of endless bliss, with a perfect marriage, perfect relationships, and a perfect financial portfolio.  Perfection can only be found in Christ, for the world we live in is a fallen world.  And even though life is sweet for the lovers of God, we all still face times of unexpected trials, unpredicted difficulties, and seemingly unsolvable problems.  In a word, this is the wilderness.

Every child of God will have a wilderness experience, but not everyone has to have a wilderness wandering.  The “wilderness” is something every true Christ follower must pass through.  The good news is you will make it through to the other side.  However, let me tell you what many will not.  You won’t escape going through a wilderness or two on your way to paradise.  The wilderness – everybody’s got one.

There are at least ten named wildernesses in the Bible.  Even Jesus entered into a wilderness season immediately after his baptism.  He was tested with many ordeals.  And the pathway to glory will invariably lead us through the wilderness.  Between every promise and the Promised Land of fulfillment will be a wilderness.  But the great promise of grace is always with us, for the Lord will never lead us into a path that he has not already ventured.  He was victorious in his wilderness test, because he placed his hope in God alone and trusted in the living Word of God to sustain him.

There’s a children’s song that my wife and I once taught our kids to sing as they were growing up.  The lyrics are simple but the lesson they teach us is not.

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is follow.
My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is follow.

Strength for today is mine all the way.
And all that I need for tomorrow.
My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
All I have to do is follow.

Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus.
Anywhere, everywhere, I will follow him.
Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus
Anywhere he leads me, I will follow him.

When you have no place to turn, and you feel like your progress is slow and your spiritual growth seems even slower, remember the words to that children’s song, “My Lord Knows the Way.”  One step at a time and one day at a time, we move through our lives on this planet.  Unexpected twists and turns come, but so does the glorious revelation that Jesus has gone before us through the darkest times of our lives and promises to take us through them to the other side, where all is glory and peace.

God’s loving and watchful care over our lives is eternal.  He has invested sacred blood and the life of his Son for us.  He will never disappoint those who trust in him.  His ways are good and perfect.  All I have to do is follow him.

Open your heart to the truth we present in this book.  Let it settle into your soul.  You may want to read some of the chapters more than once to understand that your life is such a beautiful treasure to God that he will “polish” you with what seems like the abrasive sand of a desert-like experience.

In the pages that follow, we (Brian and Candice) share with you some of the difficult seasons we passed through while we were tribal missionaries in Central and South America.  We encountered demonic powers and were forced more than once to confess our deep need of Jesus.  We will tell you stories of how God spared our daughter, Joy, after she was bitten by a large snake while playing at the river, and how we lost months of supplies in a flooding river.  You’ll read about our life journey as it unfolded over the years of our missionary career.

But the true story in this book takes place in the many wilderness encounters that the people of Israel faced after leaving Egypt in the powerful miracle recorded in the book of Exodus.  The Israelites’ stories give us insights into understanding our own stories – challenges of faith, delayed answers to prayer, and miraculous interventions that displayed God’s glory.  At the end of each chapter we’ve also included, “God’s Whisper,” which are words of encouragement and hope we believe God has for you.

We’re so glad you’ve chosen to read about our journey of faith.  Jesus is the true hero of our story, and we are thrilled to be able to share part of it with you.  We hope you enjoy it and can find comfort and strength in whatever situation you face today.

All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort.  He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial.  We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us.  And just as we experience the abundance of Christ’s own sufferings, even more of God’s comfort will cascade upon us through our union with Christ.

If troubles weigh us down, that just means that we will receive even more comfort to pass on to you for your deliverance!  For the comfort pouring into us empowers us to bring comfort to you.  And with this comfort upholding you, you can endure victoriously the same suffering that we experience.  Now our hope for you is unshakable, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings you will also share in God’s comforting strength. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

 

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