Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wilderness Experience

The desert can be a hot place. I found out the truth of that statement! I spent nearly 3 days and 3 nights in the California High Desert with six other guys on a weekend camping retreat. During the day it was about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Complete sunshine, no clouds to provide relief until the last afternoon we were there and then only about a half hour of daylight relief.

But it was a great experience! Being there gave me insight into a “wilderness experience” similar to what Jesus experienced for 40 days, that Elijah experienced on the run from Jezebel, and that the Israelites experienced for 40 years in Sinai.

I learned a lot about myself and my relationship with Christ.
- I can endure that kind of heat for extended periods of time, as long as the water holds out and I drink it.
- I’m thankful for a few minutes in the shade of a rock or a tree.
- The encouragement of a friend goes a long way of making a frustrating experience into an upbeat and enjoyable experience.

During the day, we climbed several rocks with ropes and harnesses, led by our climbing leader Craig.

In the evenings, we explored the leadership of Jesus Christ in the Gospels.

Not a patience man all the time, I found that a peace from Jesus Christ enveloped me throughout the retreat even though I expected the heat and sun to burn off any patience I brought with me.

I learned that simple water can taste like ambrosia after a long, hot hike.

Following leaders like our climbing leader, Craig, examples like Dick Winters (from Band of Brothers) and Jesus Christ as related to us in the Gospels, changed me from a man who thought he pretty much had things figured out into a man who’s horizons have been deeply broadened.

Being in the wilderness helped me see in a more real way the extent of Jesus’ love for me. He experienced this just like I did. He was tempted to give up, to give in and didn’t. He didn’t back down, he kept walking even when he was tired.

My Joshua Tree wilderness experience brought me closer to six guys, it brought me closer to Christ, and it brought me a closer understanding of myself.

©2008 True Men Ministries.

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