Lent reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, which he was led into. Now wait a second, does this suggest that there are times when God leads us into the wilderness, not just out of it? Yep. And guess what else? The wilderness can be a very messy place.
Jesus was led into the wilderness to fast, pray, and prepare for what God had next for him. I believe God calls us into our own times of wilderness for those very same reasons. I also think God calls us to enter into the wilderness of others, to travel the dusty roads of the desert with them. There are people all around us wandering through their wilderness feeling alone, lost, and hopeless. I can’t help but think that God wants us to meet others in their wilderness. Here’s the catch, people are messy, life is messy, and often times we find ourselves navigating a messy wilderness.
This is the calling of the Church. To be an outpost in the messy wilderness of life. To be a place where individuals, and their broken messiness, are not only welcomed but loved into wholeness. God is also the God of the wilderness, willing and able to meet any and all there, whether he leads us there or not.
May we, by God’s grace, recognize that if we fail to meet people in the messiness of life, we fail to be Christ’s Church.