“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den; and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept, I dreamed a dream.” (John Bunyan)
When the Israelites were saved from slavery in Egypt, they didn’t immediately enter into the Promised Land. They had to wander through the wilderness first (and ended up wandering a lot longer than they expected).
In a similar way, the church when saved from sin and death, doesn’t immediately enter the Promised Land of the new heaven and a new earth. She has her own wilderness to make her way through.
The wilderness is the present world. It is life outside the Garden of Eden. It is enemy territory and full of temptations, trials, difficulties and challenges. It is where Jesus’ followers are regarded as the scum and dregs of society.
John Bunyan in the opening line of Pilgrim’s Progress reminds us that life now for the Christian won’t be easy. It is a journey through the wilderness. But one day we enter the Promised Land that Jesus is preparing for us. We will be home, and it is to this future certainty we must keeping looking forward to.
(Photo: Julia Joppien)