Walking through a desert season will often leave you feeling lost and alone. Even though you want to believe that His Presence goes with You, I think the desert is purposely made to make one feel helpless and dependent. It forces us to reach forward into the great unknown, seeking the One we love with every ounce of strength we have left.
After wandering in the desert and accepting her circumstances with a heart of joy, Much-Afraid now finds herself standing on the shorts of loneliness. I believe the two work simultaneously together — the dry and thirsty land and the vast sea which separates us from the other side. These two work together to make us dependent on the One who has gone before us and continues to prepare the way.
Before He returns to the High Place, The Shepherd admonishes Much-Afraid in the area of obedience:
He calls us out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail.
Much-Afraid had not known such loneliness. The mountains were now completely out of sight. Her relatives were far away. She was surrounded by the sandy desert and the moaning sea, and there was no life no matter how far she looked. Yet Much-Afraid seemed to walk swifter and more upright than ever before, with hardly a limp. Something happened in the wilderness which had left a mark upon her for the rest of her life. It was a deep inner change not seen by outward appearances.
It wasn’t long, though before her Fearing relatives found her, once again sending out Pride, along with fellow companions Resentment, bitterness and self-pity to torment her. They spoke lies, wanting her to believe the Shepherd did not care for her at all. After withstanding much torment, Much-Afraid mustered up all her strength and called out once again for the Shepherd to come to her rescue. She could not understand how she allowed her tormenters to get so close. The Shepherd reminded her that she had become comfortable in her new surroundings and desired in her heart that the He would come and take her at once to the High Places. She had allowed a weed of impatience to grow in her heart, thus giving her tormenters an advantage over her.
Much-Afriad was filled with sorrow and repentance over the state of her heart. The Shepherd reminds her of her promise to wait patiently for her heart’s desire.
“When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Job 23:10; Psalm 30:5)