Woven throughout the Bible are accounts of people retreating into the wilderness to find refuge from the besetments of the world. These experiences often became holy times of communion with the Divine, during which the individual was awakened and uplifted.
For instance, the Scriptures describe how the prophet Elijah fled into the wilderness seeking safety from the threatened vengeance of Queen Jezebel. After falling asleep under a juniper tree, he awoke to an angel encouraging him to partake of “a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head” (I Kings 19:6). And in the Gospel of Mark we read a description of how Christ Jesus rose before daybreak and found “a solitary place” in which to pray (Mark 1:35).
For some, a retreat into the wilderness might seem a lonely prospect, but I’ve seen how it can reveal much to us about God’s love and presence. The Glossary in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures gives this metaphysical definition of wilderness: “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” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 597).
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