From the moment it became clear that we were going to go into “lockdown” in the UK I felt God remind me of the phrase “coming up out of the wilderness leaning on her beloved”. As many of us know this comes from Song of Solomon Chapter 8. It speaks of the mature bride having learnt to trust her bridegroom and being ready to serve Him without trusting in her own strength but fully strengthened in her assurance of his love for her.

It seemed to me that what God was saying was that we were in a time to learn how to lean on Him. How to become secure, like the bride in Songs, in His love for us and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him. Why? So that when we come up “out of the wilderness” we have left behind all our own strength and our own plans and we are totally dependent on Him.

At this time I had just been preparing for our End Times Study Group and was scheduled to teach from Joel 2. The timing was astounding! Here God speaks to his people in a time of national crisis and calls them, through the prophet Joel, to return to the Lord with all their heart. To rend their hearts – to tear away everything that they value other than God Himself.

So I believe this is where we are – in the wilderness being prepared to come out as a bride who is leaning on her beloved. During these unusual days I believe God has given us the time and space to respond to this call. He has stripped away everything else that we depend on and are distracted by and given us the opportunity to focus on returning to our first love. To spend time with Him and really know His love for us and to offer Him all our love.

These should not be days of boredom, or even trying to fill up our time with all the jobs we haven’t had time for in the past! These should be days when we give priority to spending time with our Beloved and returning to our first love. Abandoned, radical, laid down love.

For me, I have the great blessing of our NFHOP prayer room being in our house and for the last four weeks we have spent two hours every morning broadcasting a time of worship and prayer from there. I have been overwhelmed with the way God has been guiding us and giving us the grace each day. I have also been blessed by the way God has been revealing some wonderful little nuggets of revelation as I have sat with Him each day. In particular I have become aware of the significance of the season in which this is all happening – Passover through to Pentecost – from captivity into the wilderness to meet with God.

So over the coming days and weeks I am going to share some of my thoughts as we journey through the wilderness. Next time – Going Into the Wilderness.