Before we can answer the question “where is God in my wilderness” we must be able to say where and what our wilderness is. Wilderness does not always have the pejorative associations implied by the question. One brings to mind the Romantic poets’ travels to theAlps, for example. When I leave the city behind and search for a landscape untouched by the hand of modern or ancient man, I search for wild and uncultivated land. There I know I am alone and away from the enslavement of worldly distractions: my desires to succeed, to be liked, for wealth, for physical and all my selfishness. Isolation is the painful truth of my existence as a human being which sooner or later I must confront if I am to grow in God’s love. I am alone with nothing and with no one. That knowledge is the landscape of spiritual wilderness. It is frightening but like all freedom it brings fear.
But just as the landscape of solitude is full of God, so too this spiritual wilderness fills with God once I have emptied myself of my selfishness. Then I can listen and be open. When nothing else distracts me, God can be properly heard.
How do I arrive at this wilderness? Eventually I see that the things I thought of as joys in life are pains in disguise. Money, sex, success and popularity never satisfy and their pursuit becomes abject addicting repetition. So I am brought from my own wretched sin by the Spirit.
But where is God then in my wilderness? He is at large and waiting to take me with Him to His kingdom and to life. God is here. Thank God for my wilderness.