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 “So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites."

- Exodus 3:8 (NIV)


I was recently asked how I manage to have so much joy in a season of my life that appears, to an outside observer, to be a wilderness. How am I able to have joy in my wilderness? Why am I not broken? Why am I not afraid? Why do I still have peace in my wilderness? The question wasn't asked from a place of understanding, but rather from a place of judgment because the person asking seemed annoyed by my ability to maintain peace during a challenging season. While I understood the spirit behind the question, I did not take offense. Instead, I saw it as an opportunity to glorify God, and I shared my perspective with them.


According to the Bible, the Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness due to their disobedience and lack of faith in God. After being led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses, they reached the edge of the Promised Land (Canaan) but were afraid to enter because they believed the inhabitants were too powerful. As a consequence of their lack of faith and grumbling against God, the Israelites were condemned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. During this time, the entire generation of adults who had been slaves in Egypt perished, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, who had shown faith in God's promises.


Here’s the thing: the wilderness was not originally meant to be a part of their identity or destiny. It was simply a period and location they would pass through. In fact, the journey to Canaan was only 11 days. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of 11 days as a season. It was their disobedience that put them in a wilderness season, and that season lasted until the unbelieving generation passed away. Only then could the new generation come out of that season. Sometimes we are stuck in the wilderness because we’ve attached ourselves to someone else’s disobedience, and as a result, we can’t move until they move.


But Joshua and Caleb were of a different breed. They remembered how God provided in the wilderness and used that as a reminder of how much greater things would be if they were courageous enough to pursue the promise. So when I look at my time in the wilderness, I don’t wander but I wonder. I wonder how much greater it’s going to be if even now God is this good to me.


Some people are shaped by the wilderness, and some people are shaped by the manna. What do I mean? Some of you have built your belief system and your faith, or lack thereof, based on how hard things have been for you. That attachment to pain often makes you fear how much harder things will be later. But some of you remember the manna. You remember how God literally provided something out of what appeared to be nothing. Some of you remember how He split the Red Sea. Some of you remember how He delivered you from your enemies. Some of you remember how He provided water from a rock. And from that, you know that God will always provide, and you know it only gets better from here as long as you keep believing and trusting Him.


Manna was the bread from heaven that God provided daily to the Israelites while they were in the wilderness. It was a tangible sign of God's provision and faithfulness. Despite their disobedience and lack of faith, God still provided for their needs. The manna was a daily reminder that God was with them, sustaining them, and preparing them for the Promised Land. It was a lesson in dependence on God and trusting in His provision even when the circumstances seemed dire.


A wilderness mindset and a promise mindset can look very similar, but they are so different. The wilderness mindset is attached to the struggle. The promise mindset is attached to the provision. You can be in the same place as someone else and see victory while the other person sees defeat. This is why you have to be so mindful of who you attach yourself to and who leads you when you’re going through. Some people will do a great job /of leading you right back to the wilderness. They will highlight the giants in your situation rather than highlighting the true giant, which is God.


So why do I have peace in my wilderness? Because the wilderness is temporary, and mentally I’m already in the promise. 


For me, I am declaring that I am in my manna season. Yes, I am passing through the wilderness. Yes, I understand that my situation may look a little wild, but the wilderness is not my portion. My portion is the promise. As I journey through this wild transition, I’m not getting comfortable here. Instead, I’m allowing the manna God has provided to motivate me to keep moving forward, to help build my courage, and to strengthen my faith as I move toward the promise.


So let me ask you: Are you in a wilderness season, or are you just going through the wild? Are you letting the struggles of the wilderness shape your mindset, or are you letting the provision of God in the wilderness shape your faith? Remember, the wilderness is temporary, but the promise is eternal. Keep your eyes on the promise, trust in God’s provision, and let the manna in your wilderness be a reminder of the greater things to come.

P.S. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes. I truly love this community more and more each day. (insert crying emoji)

Love, Peace, and TEA!


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