Sometimes waiting on God feels like you’re dying of thirst. That’s what David thought as he wandered in the Judean wilderness, running from a problem he couldn’t solve.
Chased by the jealous King Saul, David took refuge in the Wilderness of Judea and prayed, “My flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).
This barren land is a picture of our own challenge with waiting on God.
It also pictures the place of refuge God provides for us while we wait.
The Wilderness of Judea—A Dry and Weary Land
David wasn’t kidding about the land being dry and weary.
- It consisted of endless piles of rocks, steep hills, no trees, meager vegetation, little water, slight shade, and lizards.
- As far as they eye can see, it is empty, dry, and depressing.
But the Wilderness of Judea is still one of my favorite places to visit in Israel. This wasteland sits almost completely unchanged from biblical days.
A Place of Waiting on God—A Place of Refuge
During one of the most desperate times of David’s life, the one who was the anointed future king of Israel found himself running as a renegade in the very land over which he would one day rule.
- Ironically, the remoteness of the Wilderness of Judea offered an ideal hideaway.
- Throughout the Scriptures, this wilderness is often described as a place both of escape and of spiritual solitude. Why? Because no one would want to follow you there!
The “dry and weary land” served as a backdrop for David’s own weariness. And the lack of water around him illustrated an even deeper thirst he felt:
My soul thirsts for You. —Psalm 63:1
At the height of his emotional and physical distress, David sought refuge in his spiritual life.
He yearned for God.
Waiting on God in His School of Preparation
During the many years that David fled from Saul, the Lord used this wilderness to shape David’s character through the discipline of waiting on God.
The Lord does the same in our lives.
God often allows the weary circumstances to compel us finally to do what we should have done at the beginning: surrender all control to God.
The unchanging landscape of the Wilderness of Judea reminds us of God’s unchanging commitment to shape our lives as believers to resemble the life of His Son.
With that as our goal, isn’t the weary wilderness He leads us through worth it?
Tell me what you think: What helps you stay strong as you’re waiting on God? To leave a comment, just click here.