“God declared his love for and pleasure in his Son, and then immediately sent him into the wilderness, seemingly withdrawing all divine support, and letting the devil test his Son. Sometimes God shows his love by caring and sometimes by preparing. In the wilderness God was preparing his Son for his greatest test, the test that would come at the very end of his ministry.
Jesus resisted the devil, not the wilderness.
The Lord leads us into the wilderness, and he will lead us out. So the fundamental question is not about escaping our wilderness, but how to make the most of it.
One of my favorite movies is Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. It is based on the book by Isak Dinesan. In 1957, a reporter asked her about how she was able to endure all that she suffered in Africa, the unfaithfulness of her husband who gave her an STD, the loss of her plantation, and the loss of her lover in a plane crash. She answered, “All suffering is bearable if it is seen in a story.”
I think that is the clue to our wilderness chapters. They are an essential part of our stories so that when the cross comes, whatever that may be, we will say yes to the cross, and heaven will erupt in praise for our God, and at last, we will have pleased our God.” – Jack Deere