Someone stranded in a physical survival situation must immediately find or build a shelter. The first great danger is exposure to the desert’s harsh elements. It’s crucial to maintain your core body temperature in order to endure. Direct sunlight and extreme heat cause heatstroke. Rain and cold cause hypothermia. A good shelter provides the necessary shade or warmth to keep your body temperature as stable as possible.
This expert advice mirrors spiritual life well. Listen to one of God’s promises, borrowing language from Israel’s wilderness journey: “Over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain” (Isaiah 4:5-6). Those finding themselves in a spiritual desert must embrace this promise, immediately seeking God as the wilderness shelter that will protect them from harsh elements.
We may be tempted to equate “desert” with God’s absence. But nothing could be further from the truth. Barren lands lack many conveniences, but they never lack God’s presence! A child of God is never cut off from Him. On the contrary, God’s presence is our safe place in the desert more than ever. Remember, one of our key resources in the wilderness is the comfort of the Holy Spirit. God is always with us, but in the howling void of the wilderness, we can actually come to know His presence in new and greater dimensions.