Strength on Wilderness Paths
by Tina Yeager
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion”
Ancient scenes from Exodus resonated with me. Frail people of God embarked on a faith journey only to lose hope as they wandered in doubt. I pitied and empathized with their plight.
Like the Hebrews, I set out with hope in my God-given dreams. The Lord called me to leave the familiar to pursue writing. Instead of an instant arrival at the border of success, the journey led me through a wilderness of unknown extent. Each new goal required intense effort like hiking desert dunes. Spiritual and emotional opposition scorched my heart like the relentless heat of unfiltered rays. I marched onward hoping to reach the promised land. But I surmounted one sand dune only to face another. And another. I spent years trekking through arid spaces. I feared my frailty would leave me to perish in doubt instead of reaching the destination God planned for me.
The Lord called me to write, but he never guaranteed results. He promised to remain with me on the journey. But I have no idea what our destination will look like.
This morning, the Lord reminded me of recent, actual wilderness experiences. I often seek his presence by heading out to discover waterfalls. Sometimes I embark with my son or husband. On other days, the Lord serves as my only companion on the path. Though I might hear the falls whispering a vague promise, the destination remains unseen. Even without a clear sense of the result, I begin each hike with eager anticipation. Steep, challenging trails push my limits as I climb. But I cherish intimate fellowship on the way and never lose hope in the value of our reward.
I’ll view my writing journey as a rewarding hike with my dearest love. Instead of the Exodus saga, I’ll claim Psalm 84. The exiled psalmist also endured a challenging wilderness trail. Yet unlike the freed slaves, the pilgrims centered their hope and strength on the Lord. Joy and worship served as the theme music of their journey and destination.
May the same ring true of my writing hike with Christ.
Father, thank you for redirecting my heart’s course on our journey together. Steady my soul through challenges. Guide me to your awe-inspiring spiritual waterfalls, no matter the distance or size of the destination. I look forward to our time together on the way and your strength to empower my every step. Amen.
Award-winning author, speaker, licensed counselor, and life coach, Tina encourages others to fulfill their potential. Her 10-week, ten-minutes-a-day Subdue Stress and Anxiety course features 15 expert presenters. She hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast and is head mentor with Word Weavers International. Check out Beautiful Warrior, her book on women’s esteem, and connect with at tinayeager.com.