Wilderness Living - Encouragement for Today - February 9, 2024

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Sarah FreymuthFebruary 9, 2024

Wilderness Living

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“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’” Isaiah 48:17 (ESV)

When my husband and I moved into our first home — a massive renovation project in a new town — excitement filled me, but so did trepidation.

I didn’t know where this new season would lead, and I don’t do well with change. I didn’t know what wilderness lay before me. On top of that, I was healing from an arduous stretch of physical and mental strain. It all left me vulnerable and admitting I didn’t have it all together.

Would this stretch remind me of the barren years behind me?

Would the panic of not knowing what’s ahead keep me from partaking in a potentially beautiful present?

Much like in Exodus 13:21, when His people were walking in the wilderness, God became my cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, leading me where I could not see and protecting me when old doubts and fears began to reintroduce themselves. One shaky step at a time, I was held, directed and comforted.

We wish to forge on fast and straight, like one swift trip across the waters of life. But it almost never works that well, does it? There are crooked turns and twists, head-scratching and heart-rending moments. The journey never moves the way we mean.

Then we gripe and curl our fingers into fists and demand answers, bemoaning how we should have known better than to land here. It is a bitter herb to chew, this self-sufficiency.

Let go, God says, bringing us to a place of dependence on Him to give us what’s best.

Maybe it’s in this mud-slung stretch of wilderness living that our bones will grow strong and our hearts will grow soft. After all, it is the Lord who leads us where we should go.

“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go’” (Isaiah 48:17).

God directs our steps and makes them secure. It’s OK to admit we’re afraid or out of our element. God wants to hear our hearts’ cries; He wants to comfort, encourage and strengthen us through our times of struggle. The more out of sorts we feel, the more we can lean into God, who has given us all we need along the way.

In the untidy tides of life, in sorrow and hope, in want and plenty, we may not know how to navigate the uncharted waters around and in us. But God gives us treasures on the way and teaches us a deeper trust that leads us closer to His heart — even while we linger in the wilderness.

Father, this season of unknowns is uncomfortable. I feel a little lost and afraid. But You are the One who goes with me and before me, preserving my life and giving me exactly what I need today. Thank You for Your care and for how You will see me through this season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


When our days and hands feel full, the enemy can bombard our minds with lies, fears and worries. In those moments, it can feel hard to know and believe what is true. But just because you think it doesn’t mean you have to believe it. Exchange your anxious thoughts and emotions for peace and clarity as you cling to God’s love and His good plans for you with our new devotional, Renew Your Mind: 40 Days To Quiet the Lies Inside Your Head. For a limited time, you can get this as a FREE gift when you donate $5 or more to Proverbs 31 Ministries! Click here to learn more.


You’re not alone in feeling alone. The truth is, we were designed to connect with others — and God — through intimacy, not just proximity. But can someone please explain that to the average, everyday person? Yes, please! Listen to Dr. Joel Muddamalle and Shae Hill’s conversation on The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast, titled “Ask a Theologian: Why Do I Feel Lonely Even When I'm Surrounded by People?


Connect with Sarah Freymuth on her website, Instagram or Facebook!


Deuteronomy 8:3, “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (ESV).

Has God led you into a season of uncertainty and discomfort? Where can you see God still providing for you and leading you forward?

Write down three ways God has taken care of you this week, and remind yourself that He will never stop loving you.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Sarah Freymuth. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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