Have you ever been out in the woods camping? Have your ever been outside in hiking shoes, stumbling down a trail, surrounded on all sides with the prickly underbrush, tall freaking trees and the root and rock covered trail? In the distance you can hear the life of the woods all around you but not a single beast can you see. You can feel the breeze on your necklace and the occasional leaf may fall and touch the crown of your head. This is a wilderness to us in modern society. I’d venture to guess this is not the wilderness that king David was describing. He was more likely in a wilderness that lacked shade or water. Was void of comforting streams and small animals that would be fascinating but rather large ones with teeth. A wilderness king David found himself in was more likely literally wild with unseen and seen dangers. Or mayhaps his wilderness was one of being nothing less than a stranger in a strange land. Wild because of the inability to communicate or seek help because the language and customs are alien to him. The dress and social expectations are wildly different from his own and he had nowhere assured to him he could turn for comfort.
Perhaps your wilderness is similar.
Maybe your wilderness is a lost job. A lost loved one. A bit of bad or completely unexpected news. Could your wilderness be a choice you made that was honest to your heart and near to God but no one around you understands why you chose that. Maybe your wilderness is feeling alone when in a crowd. Or you’re blessed with a new title and have few who share it so you’ve entered a very small circle of fellows who can relate to the stress you now know.
If you are there, as king David was , can you yet and still feel love and comfort?
King David says that despite his being in the wilderness, he knows the love of God is far above his understanding of life. He knows that with the love of God, life pales because he knows that in god there is life and life more abundantly. And in that knowledge he wil praise God regardless of the wild things he sees. But recognizing that is insufficient without thanks for the blessing of God’s love. While he yet has breath in his lungs he will bless him and with his breath, he will lift up His hands in praise.