Wilderness Seasons

Hi friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I’m so glad to be back! Last week I hit day 40 of a journey I felt the Lord invite me on a few weeks ago. It was a time of disconnecting, and a time where I simply followed Him. Into the quiet…and ultimately, into a place of what felt like total silence.

Not many words were spoken over this time and space. Not many words from me, and honestly, not many that I heard from Him to me, either. But I followed where He led, as I was reminded that sometimes, the Spirit leads into the wilderness for purposes known only to Him.

There’s so much that happened as a result of being obedient to those 40 days. But it wasn’t anything I had expected. If I can be honest, none of my lingering questions were answered during this time. No booming revelation pierced through to enlighten my heart and soul. No specific direction or clarity came as to my next assignment. (Which is something I’ve desperately been seeking Him about.) My dreams at night even came to a complete pause. And for those of you who know me well, or read my blog often, you’ll know that’s quite unusual for me.

Oh, I went in hoping all those things would take place! But from the very first day, when  I stood at the starting line of this journey, I heard only one question before I even took the first step,

“Do you love Me more than these?”

And as I stood there, locking eyes with the One I love, stunned at my own presumptions of what this 40 days was going to be all about, I could only reply, “Yes, Lord. You know I do.” My fingers loosening, the lists and sheets of paper with all my neatly crafted bullet points and all “my goals” for these 40 days falling freely to the floor. I quickly discarded all “my needs” and “my questions” and all “my expectations” and presumptions and simply….followed.

Friends, it was so quiet and there were times I felt as if nothing was happening. I heard: nothing. I saw: nothing. I felt: nothing. But I can see now, a transformation was taking place. One I don’t think I would have even had the words to have asked for.

Seasons, places, and spaces of time where we don’t hear Him or feel Him like we’re accustomed to (or expect to) reveal so much more about us than they do about Him. Can we and will we still pursue Him even when there’s silence? And in the midst of that silence can we and will we follow Him without becoming restless or anxious? Without changing our mind about who He is and His good nature towards us? Can we trust that He knows better than we do what it is we need? And will we be motivated by our love for Him instead of letting what we want from Him begin to define our relationship?

Since then, the activity has picked back up. I’m hearing again – though differently. I’m seeing again – though differently. I’m perceiving again, and sensing again – though differently. And yes, my dreams are once again coming back. It’s as though I’ve woken up from a deep sleep, and something’s changed.

I felt led to share all of this to encourage some of you who have felt things “go dark” at times in your walk with God. Some of you have experienced (or maybe are experiencing right at this moment) the very thing I’m talking about – you don’t hear, you don’t feel, you don’t see. The cry of your heart continues to be, “How long, Lord? How long?” I want to encourage you friend, don’t despair when things go quiet. Remember, God did some pretty remarkable things in the lives of Adam and Abram when He caused a deep sleep to fall upon them! Not to mention what took place in the life of Jesus after His 40 days in the wilderness!

Just continue following Him and don’t let anything shake the fact that He is right there with you. Instead, use these times to retrain your spiritual senses so that you can learn how to be aware of His presence both on the mountains and in the valleys. Through the pillar of cloud by day and through the pillar of fire at night.  And know that when you emerge on the other side of it…because you will…you will be changed.

I should also share – another thing that was a great strength to me during this wilderness time was abiding more deeply in the Scriptures. Please be Spirit-led in wherever you feel the Lord leading you to read. But for me, during this time, I couldn’t seem to leave the books of Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy, especially. I found myself tracing and retracing the wilderness journeys of our patriarchs. When we hit those moments where we can’t hear what He is saying, we can rest in what He has said. And when we don’t know what He is doing, we can draw strength from what He has done.

Thanks for reading and listening and thanks for your kind words while I was out. There are great things ahead and I’m ready! Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly above all that we could ever ask or think…according to HIS POWER working in us….to Him be all the glory, and all the honor and all the praise.

Linda G. Riddle

 

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7 thoughts on “Wilderness Seasons

  1. brandicorteshickson says:

    What an incredibly powerful testimony of obedience and quiet revelation! Thank you for sharing it. Silence and stillness are often so difficult for those of us that have been given creative gifts: when we have no words to write or new songs to sing or new images to paint, it can feel like we have been discarded or shelved when we KNOW better.

    This statement was like a balm to a wound…
    “When we hit those moments where we can’t hear what He is saying, we can rest in what He has said. And when we don’t know what He is doing, we can draw strength from what He has done.”

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    Like

    • Linda G Riddle says:

      You nailed it, Brandi. You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. I can’t tell you how many times, in the past month, I’ve sat down at my computer to write. To not write is one of the most painful things! But yet, I felt even more strongly that to do so would be in violation and abandonment of where I was and what God was doing in me. It’s like taking our Isaacs to the region of Moriah. Yet with the faith that He can and will resurrect it if necessary. Thanks for reading and writing back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carrine Mallis says:

    Oh man, this is right on time for me! Thank you for writing this!

    I have been on a journey lately that is exactly as you are describing. I’m not feeling, not hearing, and not sensing anything. I have been reaching out to people- fellow Christian friends, and I’ve been feeling as though something is “wrong” with me. I’m seeking God, yet it’s as if I’m in this state of numbness. I have questioned things such as my hobbies, my active creative mind, and even if I’m still at the right church or not. I just recently began seeing a Christian (psychological) counselor as well.

    Whenever God does speak to me, it’s almost always something pertaining to being still. “Be still and know that I am God” has been MY scripture for over a year now. It’s been one of those seasons that at times I feel myself asking “hasn’t it been long enough??”.”I’m TRYING to be still Lord.”

    I have finally come to a place where I am at peace about the season that i am in. I’ve realized that God sometimes wants to take some time to prune us, and to concentrate on strengthening our faith and endurance. I know this must mean that there is something bigger up ahead. This time of stillness is not without purpose.

    Thank you for being a perfectly timed voice of confirmation! Just as I was beginning to tell myself… “it’s ok. I’m actually just fine. God is still here and working on me. I can do this”–
    I scroll across your blog post. Such a blessing!

    Like

  3. Michelle Cicero says:

    This explains a lot that has been going on for me as well. Not remembering my dreams leads me to seek God more. I listened to a message from Ps Steven Furtick I put it to use immediately. It has been my guide this week and my dreams have returned. His message was based on the wilderness and Gods people waiting for Him to do another great work exactly as He had before. They couldn’t see the blessings because it didn’t come in the same form. I do the same I look for God to bless me the same way. I took this to heart and set my mind to help others that day and God blessed me yet again. “see I do a new thing” has been the running theme in my mind as I seek God each day.

    Like

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