Many references to wilderness are to be found in the Bible. This word usually denotes a time of testing. Christian Science makes it clear that a testing time is also a proving time, a time of overcoming the falsities of material sense through spiritual enlightenment. This enlightenment enables one to demonstrate man's relationship to God as His spiritual son.
On page 597 of the textbook Mrs. Eddy defines "wilderness" as follows: "Loneliness; doubt; darkness. Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence." A vestibule is always a passageway and is not a permanent place of abode. This fact should encourage one who is faced with a time of testing and make him determined to learn the needed lesson in order to solve completely the problem which is facing him.
Perhaps the wilderness in which one humanly finds himself is hedged about with a seemingly impenetrable forest of doubt and fear, including the suggestion that since one has been fearful, penalties for this fear will result. This suggestion is only a lie and can be so proved. On page 419 of the textbook it is stated that "neither disease itself, sin, nor fear has the power to cause disease or a relapse." An understanding of this fact enables one to rise above the mesmeric sense of fear and claim his God-given dominion, his right to complete freedom from fear and its pretense to power.