The meeting was set for 8:15. I had spent the previous day packing ten years’ worth of belongings into 2 copier paper boxes. I had also sought out my tribe to let them know I was pretty certain tomorrow would be my last day. I arrived early the next day and took the boxes down the back stairway to my car. I had the remainder of my corporate belongings in my backpack when I walked into the meeting. Not surprisingly, my boss was there with another officer of the company to tell me that my job had been eliminated.
By 9:15 the meeting was over. Corporate credit card, laptop, and badge surrendered, I made my way down the elevator and into the lobby. The doors and stairways I had once walked freely in and out of would now require an escort and a visitor’s badge.
Ten years of my life had been spent in this place. Meetings, business trips, dinners, promotions—my first and only foray into the corporate world—done, just like that. I felt as if I had been tossed off a ship that I had been helping steer, placed in a sinking lifeboat, and nobody had bothered to yell man overboard. The ship just kept sailing.
The wilderness is defined (among other things) as an outside area in which plants are left to grow naturally or untidily; a bewildering mass. One could say I was in a similar space, and in some sense, I was. However, this was not my first trek into the untidy, bewildering mass. When I left home and family and moved to Poland to marry and live with the woman I love, it was a bit “untidy.” We were both out of our element to some degree and leaned heavily on the Lord for guidance. Other wilderness type experiences that came our way were the births of our three children, new jobs, moving to the US, stepping out of church leadership, and Revelation Wellness Instructor training. These were all areas where we were intentional and committed because we knew we couldn’t do it on our own.
I tend to look at the wilderness as a place where my comfort zone has been rocked, but with a purpose. I suddenly find myself in unfamiliar settings and I must rely on tools and skills I had neglected when I was busy with the business of getting (and staying) comfortable. The wilderness is an untidy and often bewildering place, but a very necessary one. It’s a place where The One who made us so fearfully and wonderfully can have our full attention.
Needless to say, He had mine.
“WhatIfAbouts” is a word I made up for my book that will soon be out in the world. “WhatIfAbouts” are the pestering and negative thoughts that attack our most vulnerable places when we begin to rise up and take possession of our OD (original design). Do any of these sound familiar?
Who do you think you are?
What makes you so smart?
Why do you think that will work…this time?
You’ve never been a good student.
You’ve never finished anything in your life.
You’re too fat.
Nobody likes you.
You HATE exercise.
The list goes on and on. In the wilderness of the desert, the “WhatIfAbouts” are the dust storms that pound and swirl. In the wilderness of the jungle, they are the vines that entangle, the snakes that terrify, the unseen traps laid for us.
“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
“He who is in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone. Behold, the new has come.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
“And surely I am with you, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20
“I will never leave you or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
“The beast of the field will glorify Me, the jackals and ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people.” – Isaiah 43:20
Whether your wilderness is a career, family, relationship, fitness, health, parenting or (insert your own), the Lord’s faithfulness, care and love are unwavering. Also remember this: He wastes NOTHING. What you are going through is under God’s sovereign care. As the Israelites came out of the desert and experienced the promised land, so you too will arrive at the place He has prepared for you. I say this to myself in my current situation as much as I say it to you in your situation.
The wilderness can deplete your strength if you spend it on the wrong things like panic, doubt, bitterness, and fear. So instead, you are invited to seek the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. When you do that, He promises you will find Him.
Jason Barnaby is the Chief Fire Starter of Fire Starters Inc—a company dedicated to sparking A-Ha moments that ignite lasting change. He and his wife Ewa are also Revelation Wellness Instructors from Platoon 16. You can find Jason on the web at www.firestarterstribe.com and on IG at firestarterstribe.
Thank you for reading along on the Revelation Wellness Blog this week! This month, we are learning what it means to #bravethewilderness in God’s presence and love. Feel free to drop us a note about your wilderness story, at email@example.com. Your testimony brings God glory!
Have you checked out our FREE Forgiveness Training? If you have ever stumbled on how to really “forgive others as He forgives us,” this resource will show you how. Though it may be difficult, this is the way of the Kingdom, friends!
Move with us in this #wednesdayworkout! For more great workouts, visit us at RevWellTV!
COURTNEY’S FULL-LENGTH KICKBOXING – “TRUST MY AUTHORITY”
Enjoy this low-impact, multi-planar, cross-training kickboxing workout! A total body workout like no other! (ALL LEVELS) (ROMANS 6:14; NO EQUIPMENT)