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A Short Word on Wilderness Seasons

I’m joining today with the Five Minute Friday community of writers who write for 5 minutes about a one-word prompt.

Today’s writing prompt is STIR.

I walk up to the door, hesitant and wary. 

It’s stark white with a brass gold handle and big, black block letters that come together to say, ENTER. 

I find that I’m disappointed – I wanted the door to look… prettier. I wanted it to be a beautiful, earthy color with maybe some intricate design or draping ivy. 

But it’s not. It’s not what I expected it to look like at all and I’m disappointed. 

But then, He’s there. His presence is patient and kind, and with a gentle smile, He wraps His hand around mine as we reach, together, toward that ugly brass handle. 

The white door opens smoothly and I hear birdsong. 

I open it wider and find that I’m stepping into a beautiful wooded area. There are tall trees and greenery everywhere, birds singing and flying upward, and in the distance I see a crystal clear lake adorned with mountains. 

My disappointment is forgotten and I take off running down the tan-colored path eyes wide like a little girl taking everything in at once. 

As I tear down the path I hear His voice come to me tenderly but directly; “Beloved, slow down. You’re going to miss the details.”

He calls me back to Himself and I respond to the invitation to return. I look at Him and ask, “What are we doing here?”

He smiles that same kind of smile that I know so well and says, “We’re going to grow.”

A familiar longing stirs within me and all at once, I am stilled as I realize that wilderness seasons – waiting seasons – while they aren’t always what I expect, can be seasons of great beauty, stillness, and growth.

Ann Voskamp’s words come to me now, “Every wilderness, every desert — is not where God deserts — but is where God woos with a whispered Word. But you will have to be still to hear His whispered Word.”

Maybe in this season, the question isn’t, “What’s my next step?” Maybe the question is, “How can I live in the Spirit today?” 

What can I cultivate with Him today?

On my way to getting to where I want to go, which at this point I’m not sure where that is, I’m being invited to slow down, dream, and live with Jesus. 

The Lord leads us into wilderness seasons sometimes so that we can hear His voice the loudest. So here in my own wilderness, waiting season – quietness and trust will be my strength, repentance and rest my salvation (Isaiah 30:15). 

I will let my stillness lead to His strength and I will wait. 

I will choose to behold the beauty of the journey rather than coveting the destination. 

I will listen and be led.