Who do you trust when you are in the wilderness? The story

      of how God led Israel into the wilderness has implications for our

      own spiritual journey as Christians. Like Israel, many times we are

      responsible for putting ourselves in the wilderness. Other times,

      God led us there kicking and screaming.

           Have you ever been to the  wilderness? If you have, you know

      more about it than I do. But what I do know is this; the wilderness 

      is not an ideal place to construct permanent homes. Nobody

      wants to  build their home in a place that is rocky and dry… and

      where water is miles away.

           When God led Israel out of Egypt,   God took them through the

      wilderness in order to teach them that he alone is their provider;

      God was teaching them to trust him completely for everything!

      Through the plagues in Egypt and the miracle of parting the

      Red Sea, he dismantled the gods of the Egyptians and proved that

      he alone is God …that there is none like him. If  God has the power to dethrone the many gods of the Egyptians and

      can pave a way for Israel through the Red Sea, surely, he can provide them food and water even in the driest season

      of their lives. However, as soon as they landed on the other side of the Red Sea, they begin to moan and groan; they

      begin to wish they were back in Egypt.

           Isn’t  this so typical of us? Humans can be so fickle? When we say we trust God, are we doing so only in times of

      plenty and abundance? Do we only trust him when our needs are being met … or when he was parting the red seas

      of our lives? Could this be why as soon as we are in a dry season, we shake our fists at God and demand that he fills

      our  bellies?

           When we are in a dry season, where the necessity of life slowly diminishes, our trust in the providence of God

      intensifies…we are now being challenged to take a leap of faith with God. We are challenged to depend completely

      on him for gas / electric, food and water, and even a place to live -- it is true that finding a place to live these days

      is extremely difficult as the housing market skyrocketed, and as apartments are becoming more and more difficult

      to find.

           Another aspect of life that we are challenged with in a dry season is in our behavior and attitudes toward our

      family members, friends and the community at large; the others are the biggest threat to our well-being after all!

      Keep in mind that who we trust shines brightly in our attitudes toward those who we do life with; how we treat

      others reflect the God or gods of our life.

           Friends, I believe we are in a dry season as a country … and as a denomination. As a country, we see the price of

      gas, food and goods’ soaring as everything is in short supply. In my 40+ years living in this country, I have never

      seen more emptied shelves at the grocery stores. And as a denomination, more and more church members are now

      awakened to the reality of a real separation or split. What I read and hear is confusion, dismay, anger and blaming.

      I think it is correct to say that we are in a dry season of our lives as United Methodists. Of course, this does not

      mean that we should panic as those who have no faith in God. It is in a dry season that we are being challenged to

      trust God completely for the necessity of life. Jesus told the crowd who came to be fed by him that he is the bread

      of heaven … that he is "the bread of life‟. He said also … “whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.

     Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”- (John 6:35). We are reminded by Jesus here to not seek what will fill

      our bellies, and not to construct permanently of anything in the dry season. We are, however, to trust him and find

      our satisfactions in him … he is our permanent home and resting place.

           In a dry season, I pray that your faith and trust in God will shine brightly in how you care for one another. As

      Christians we are to be Christ-like as we care for one another, also in our engagement with those in our community.

      May our Lord Jesus Christ fill your heart and mind with his grace, mercy, peace and hope as you continue to live

       and serve him. ​

      Together in Christ,

       Pastor Mao Her