Rev. Mark Stryker preaches to Facing Our Fear of… Pain.
Isolated and abandoned. Hungry and thirsty. Vulnerable and alone.
Most of us spend our entire lives avoiding these very things. Instead, we surround ourselves with people, stock our refrigerators, and make sure we are always in the know. And yet, it is these uncomfortable experiences that are trademarks of the hallowed space we know in Scripture and in life as the wilderness.
While the concept of wilderness often evokes images of desert plains and physical suffering, it can also be found in the busiest of cities and endured within our minds and souls. No matter where or how we enter into this desolate place, there is no denying the fact that the wilderness has the strange and sacred power of drawing us closer to God and encountering the divine in ways we never would have expected.
So this Lent, instead of avoiding the divine desert, we are going to embrace it. We are going to trace the dusty steps of those who walked in the desert, those who hid in the mountains, those who felt invisible. And in those painful and scary places, we are going to trust that while we may feel lost and alone, God will find us wherever we might be.
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