IN Isaiah we read of "the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." To the Christian Scientist these words are full of meaning; for he is learning that the wilderness is that state of consciousness which sorely needs the Comforter.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 597) Mrs. Eddy defines "wilderness" in part as follows: "Loneliness; doubt; darkness." The Scriptures point to the wilderness as being the place where battles are fought and won, battles with the temptations of a false selfhood, with fear, discouragement, sin, disease, death. Moses' wilderness experience followed closely on that wonderful spiritual illumination by which he perceived God as the "I AM." The many difficulties he encountered when leading the children of Israel out of bondage into the promised land were surely his wilderness, the battle ground where the gold of his character was refined, and where qualities of priceless worth —moral courage, undaunted manhood, fidelity to higher vision, justice, obedience, and unswerving adherence to the laws of God—were brought to light.
The wilderness of the great Master, Christ Jesus, his forty days and forty nights of temptation, followed swiftly on that glorious event in his career, when after his baptism "the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Here one might be almost tempted to argue that after such an exalted vision of God and His idea, such comprehension of spiritual facts, no wilderness could ever present itself to him to darken and tempt; and yet, it was immediately after this experience that Jesus was "led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." His mighty triumph over temptation is well known, as are the healing works he accomplished after this unparalleled victory.