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3 Things I Learned From Being In a Long Wilderness Season
Don't miss out on one of God's favorite formative tools.
Wilderness seasons. Every Christian will go through them.
For growing Christians, entering one can feel alarming. It can be really hard.
Here are the markers of a wilderness season:
Loss of ministry opportunities
Less "attention," "fame," and opportunity
Dealing with internal struggles
Addressing past trauma
I went through one for about 10 years, from 2013-2022. I stepped down from a lot of ministry, underwent therapy, and emerged as a better person.
I know some of you are either currently in a wilderness season or about to enter one. I felt compelled to share the things I've learned to help you navigate your own season.
Here's what I've learned during that time:
Lesson 1: Every person who accomplished great things went through one
Jesus said that if you are fruitful, what will happen?
You'll get pruned.
Pruning is not a punishment; it's an act of God to make you more fruitful.
For God, this often means entering a wilderness season. And every great person in the Bible went through one.
John the Baptist
If you're in a wilderness season, you're in good company!
Lesson 2: They're hard because something is dying
Why do we need to address wilderness seasons?
Because they are painful.
They are painful precisely because something is dying within us.
If you think about David's wilderness season, do you realize that God was trying to kill something in David that did not die in Saul? God was particularly trying to kill any sense of entitlement and self-love in David.
So God drove David into the wilderness, running away from Saul, with no home and a group of ragtag men. And in that place, something beautiful was formed in him, leading to the creation of some of the most beautiful psalms we have today.
There was evidence of God's formative hand in David's life, shaping him to become the person God intended him to be.
If your wilderness season is hard, it's because God is trying to refine your character. He is exposing your brokenness so that he can transform you into the image of Christ.
Hold on. Don't give up. He is making you more like him!
Lesson 3: There are things birthed in a wilderness season that do not arise elsewhere
You will emerge as a better person than when you entered the wilderness season.
God is going to birth things in you that you never knew could exist because some things only grow in the desert.
During my own wilderness season, God birthed in me a newfound sense of purity, humility, and servant-heartedness that I wouldn't have had if I had continued in ministry.
As you go through your wilderness season, pay attention to the qualities or attributes that you feel God is developing in you.
Do not resist. Instead, partner with God so that the things he is trying to grow in you can come to fruition.
Ready for the Wilderness?
I know some of you reading this are either in a wilderness season or about to enter one.
I hope these lessons, which I learned the hard way, will be helpful to you.
If you have any questions, reach out!
You were made for greatness,