“And the LORD said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him on the mountain of God. . .” Exodus 4:27
God told Aaron to go out into the wilderness and meet Moses. That seems very strange to me because the wilderness wasn’t normally a place that a person would go for social interaction. It was a lonely, desolate and isolated place. It was the place where those who were shunned and ostracized would be driven from the presence of others – deprived of the means of being useful to themselves or anybody else.
Now, when God calls one to go to the great cities, the hubs of human interaction, that makes sense to us. It seems logical that a person can be of most use to God in the midst of multitudes of people. But when God calls a person out into the wilderness – when He puts him in a hospital bed or places on his shoulders a heavy burden – something says deep within our souls, “That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. That doesn’t make any sense. What purpose could God possibly have in this waste?” We would have said the same thing if we had been there with Aaron when God called him to the wilderness. “Go into the wilderness. . .”
Now, I don’t know how the call came, but most likely it would have come during a time of either mental exhaustion or physical abandonment, much like happened in the life of Elijah after the showdown on Mr. Carmel. If that is the case, then there is something in me that lurches forward in pity for the poor man. My flesh would want to say that his life is over, but in reality, his life was just beginning, and it was beginning through this apparent end. You see, when he went out from his world into His wilderness he walked right into the arms of his destiny.
“Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” This was God’s plan, written in Heaven and revealed to Aaron, and it seems simple enough. He had met Moses hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Moses was his brother. They had grown up together, lived together, spent countless hours together. So, the question going through his mind as he walked out into the wilderness must have been, “How in the world can meeting Moses change my destiny?” You probably had the same thought. But when we ask that question, allow it to cross our mind unchallenged, we forget one thing. A person’s destiny many times turns on the beginning of a new set of circumstances. Something may happen to us a thousand times, but it may be the thousand and first time may bring a crisis that brings the change.
No doubt Saul of Tarsus had seen a thousand suns, but the sun on the Damascus road was one to many for him. Aaron had met Moses many times, but this meeting in the wilderness was to reveal each of them in a new light. Their common connection there in the wilderness was meant to knit their hearts together in a way that had never happened before.
My caution to you would be not to reject those wilderness moments. Don’t reject those times when you spirit is broken. Think about that alabaster box broken for Jesus. If it had realized the fact that it had been broken it might well have agreed with Judas, “Why waste it here and now and for this purpose?” But the answer was found as that fragrance filled the entire house. Its triumph was found in its tragedy.
It’s the same way in our lives. We are never truly useful – or usable – to Him until we have first had that wilderness experience because it is out there in the wilderness that we are connected with our kind.
I’ve often thought about two of the initial incidents in the life of Jesus – the wilderness and the wedding at Cana – and wondered which one was the most lonely for Him. After reflection, I think it must have been Cana because this was a place that He would not be again. Whereas He would spend many days and nights out in the wilderness. Cana is not a place where everybody would visit, but the wilderness is. We all have our times of triumph, but none of us rejoices in the same way over the same things. Our mountains are not normally shared, but our valleys often are. We don’t use the label “happy” for the same things as everybody else, but “sad” is placed on the same things by all – death, pain, sickness, sorrow, failure, weariness.
You see, it is the cross, not the crown that is the symbol of our connection.