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With Jesus in the Desert

I don’t remember if it happened on my first or second trip to Israel, but I will never forget the day – or the lesson.

Our bus driver navigated the winding road through the Negev desert. There was nothing but miles of rocks and dirt.

Then, without warning, he pulled off to the side of the road.

Our teacher got off and began walking into the desert.

We gathered our packs, grabbed our Bibles, and hurried after him.

Within minutes we could no longer see the bus or the road. Sweat was trickling down our backs and our clothing was coated in dust kicked up by a welcome breeze.

Our teacher kept walking. In silence. For an hour.

He finally stopped and waited for his students to gather around.

“Why did you follow me out here?” he asked us. “You have no idea where you are right now. You don’t know the way out. What makes you think I do?”

We stood in silence, unsure where he was going with this.

“You followed me out here because you trust me. You trust I know where we’re going. You trust I’ve been this way before. I know how long your water will last. Even though you don’t know what’s up ahead, even though you don’t know what’s around the next turn, I do.”

He paused.

That’s what it means to follow Jesus.”

We've all be in the desert. You might be in one right now.

It’s barren and dry and you’re not really sure how long your water will last. You don’t know where you’re going or what’s up ahead.

You might feel lost or disoriented or just scared.

If that’s where you are, you’re in good company. The Bible is filled with people who spent time in the desert.

You’re not alone.

You have a caravan of people hiking right beside you.

And you have a Leader.

Trust your Leader.

He’s been this way before.

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