The Desert Years
Posted: Monday, January 26
Verse of the day:
God looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act. (Exodus 2:25)
I love a good movie montage. The dialogue ceases, and you’re pleasantly greeted by a time period appropriate rock anthem. It’s the moment when Daniel from “The Karate Kid” starts taking his karate training seriously, when Superman decides he’s going to start exploring the extent of his powers, and when (and I’m ashamed I know this) Anne Hathaway’s character in “Princess Diaries” decides to take her princess lessons seriously. The music is fun, and magically, in 60 seconds, you have a fully developed Karate master, superhero, and princess of Genovia (again, embarrassed that I know this.)
Here’s what the Bible teaches us about the desert years. They are necessary, and they are long. Moses was 40 years old when he left Egypt after murdering an Egyptian. Moses was 80 years old when God asked him to return. 40 years was a long time for Moses to be waiting in the desert. 40 years was an even longer time for the Israelites. Can you imagine how many people died in captivity during those 40 years? You can’t help but wish that 40 years could be shrink wrapped into a 60 second montage. I’m not sure we’ll ever understand the process, but the pattern seems clear: God builds people slowly.
He prepares our hearts and our abilities on his timeline—not ours. We know very little about Jesus before age 30. Today, teenagers can feel lost if they can’t articulate their life plans by age 17. The desert years take time. Let’s give the Holy Spirit permission to work in the waiting. Only God knows what waits on the other side of the desert.