Over the last few weeks I have been reflecting on stories of the Jewish wilderness experience. After being freed from a brutal life of slavery in Egypt, the Jewish people embark on a 40-year journey through the Sinai wilderness on their way to a New Life in a New Land.
Unfortunately, seasons in the wilderness are part of human life. One thing ends (college, a job, a relationship), and we journey through unfamiliar territory on the way to something new. Spiritually, we can view our current season as time in the wilderness as we journey through uncharted territory. As I listen to the stories of the Jewish wilderness experience, I hope to learn how we might live more fully and faithfully in our own seasons of wilderness today.
In the story we will hear this week (found both in Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-13), the Israelites find themselves in a barren desert without any water. They grow thirsty and demand that their leader provides a solution. Moses bangs his walking stick on a rock and water gushes forth.
At one level, this is a story about a physical need. Water is a basic substance of life without which we cannot survive.
At another level, it is a story about a deeper thirst. A spiritual thirst. The psalmist writes, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God (Psalm 42).”
I invite you to join us for worship this week as we listen for how God seeks to quench our deep thirst, especially for those seasons in the wildernesses of life.