worship in the wilderness

The wilderness is still the place of worship. But for you and me it is not a matter of dunes and dry ground; in fact, it may be deceptively green. Our hunger and thirst are more spiritual realities than physical ones. The desolation we often experience involves our yearning for a more palpable feeling of the Presence of God. . . .

And so we look to the One whose coming incarnated for us the Manna, the Living Water, and the Presence of God. Jesus has entered into the wilderness of our wilderness and found us, His lost sheep. He has provided everything we need and more. He himself is our provision. It is our most profound experience of His worth. He is the answer to that most basic question of worship. Jesus shows us what God is worth and so we ascribe to him worth-ship.

But the power of these realizations only comes to light in that dim, blinding light of the wilderness, in the context of hunger and thirst for His presence; in those situations when we cannot feel His hesed for us. . . .

There is no worship without wilderness. There can be no worshipful joy of salvation until we have realized the lamentable wilderness of what we were saved from, until we begin to understand just what it cost Jesus to come and find us and be that perfect provision in the wilderness.

– from A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card

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