Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.
HABAKKUK 3:17-19 (NIV)
In our wilderness, Jan and I learned to trust God, even though at times every visible trace of Him had vanished. But we finally came to the point that Habakkuk did when he prayed “Though …” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
Those verses brought us such comfort. We took encouragement in knowing that the wilderness was part of the spiritual landscape trudged by many people whom God has greatly used. This knowledge didn’t take away our pain, but it did give us hope that we were not banished to the desert forever. We believed what God promised to the Israelites was true for us too:
“For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
ISAIAH 43:19 (NLT)
We also found comfort in realizing that Moses spent 40 years in the desert and that God used that time to teach him lessons that would later equip him for mighty exploits. We put our trust and hope in God, that He would do the same for us.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
JEREMIAH 17:7-8 (NLT)
On the journey with you,