It all happens in secret, unseen by human eye, quietly. When a tree endures a long dry season, a drought, what you don’t see is more important than what you do see. When the soil is sandy, or the water table is too low, those tree roots take on a mission, growing deeper in search of moisture and the minerals that precious water carries. Along with those deep taproots, water uptake is increased by enhanced growth of the thinner roots that are closer to the surface, the feeder roots. When drought conditions become too severe, the tree restricts shoot growth from the branches, allowing the root-to-shoot ratio to increase so that the existing branches will be sustained. All this unseen activity not only helps sustain the tree, it results in an overall stronger tree, better able to withstand strong storms and gusty winds.
As the children of Israel discovered, you cannot get from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land without traveling through the wilderness. They did not have a choice; that was God’s chosen route for them. What a glorious experience was Mount Sinai, where the people “saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking,” the place where God spoke to His children. But that was not their destination. The issue was not if they would travel through the dry wilderness, but rather, how long would they camp there. What should have been an eleven-day experience would morph into a forty-year nightmare due to a failure of faith. A short inconvenience that may have caused some blisters and tired feet ended up instead costing approximately 600,000 people their lives, that’s one funeral every 20 minutes for 40 years!
Perhaps you feel as though you are in the wilderness today. Be encouraged, some of God’s choicest servants have walked that dusty trail. Moses survived forty years on “the backside of a desert” before God could use him; King David, John the Baptist, and the apostle Paul would also put in their time in a lonely, barren environment, their personal training ground. The Savior Himself was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” were He would suffer hunger, thirst, and a constant barrage of temptation from Satan. A wilderness is never pleasant; it is uncomfortable, dry, barren; we get thirsty and yearn for a place of rest and refreshment. But just as that tree, God is preparing us for some amazing fruit-bearing, “that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” If you find yourself camped in the wilderness today, deepen your roots, strengthen your tree. What you glean in the wilderness will strengthen you, help you face the storms ahead.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
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