"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her." Hosea 2:4
"I want you..." my Savior whispers to my tired heart. I feel His love hold me and for the first time I see His leading me through this wilderness as an act of love.
He wants us. He has me here, you here, in the wilderness, because He wants us. He wants us, His daughters and sons, to know Him better as our loving Father. He wants us to know that He doesn't discipline and take away just because He wants us to feel the pain resulting from our sin. He wants us to feel His tender love, forgiveness, and grace. He wants us to know Him so well that we love Him more and love this world and it's counterfeit pleasures less. He leads us here so we can discover Him as our highest pleasure.
I'm in the wilderness, it's dark. Nothing is familiar and there is no one that can comfort me or bring me through it or out of it. But my Savior is here, ready to take me by the hand and lead me through, teach me, speak tenderly to me. He has led me here to show me just how much He loves me, just how much He wants me.
It was in the greatest act of love that He saved us. It's in love that he continues to act. It's in love that He's led us to the wilderness, to the valley of the shadow, and in it we we experience an intimacy with our Father that we can only feel when we're absolutely and utterly alone, broken. This wilderness may not feel like love; we may resent it for a time. But it's in the silence we can hear His whisper. When all other touch has faded away, we can feel His tender hand take ours. When no ones words can heal, His words of healing reach to the uttermost parts of our soul.
We may seek other things to be the balm to our hearts, our healing, or at least our distraction from the pain for a time. But when we turn to face the pain, it's not alone. It's on our knees before His Throne of Grace, breathing out the words that describe our utter pain and brokenness, that we find His sweetest presence. It's then that we can hear His tender words. It's there we find super-natural peace, joy, hope, fearlessness, courage, victory over sin and temptation, and strength.
Cling to Him in this wilderness. It's because He wants us that He has brought us here.