You know the story of David well, the shepherd boy who is hated by his brothers is anointed King. One small problem the LORD seems to have missed is Israel already had a King. Not long afterwards, Saul launches a manhunt to kill this “wanna be” King. David spent years in the wilderness being pursued by King Saul. During that time he and his men hid in caves, had a few practice raids and learned to survive in this rugged terrain. The Judean wilderness was the same place a future prophet, John the Baptist would minister in and a coming Messiah would be driven by the Spirit for 40 days.. It truly is a desert place with little water and few people save for monastics and bandits. Were these years of “cat and mouse” wasted?
Once David ascended the throne as King of Judah God’s wisdom was apparent He had redeem what seemed like wasted years. David’s military prowess was honed in the wilderness. It was here that he scouted out the best fighting positions, would discover springs and water sources. David’s anointing as King came in day but it took years to raise up a deliverer. As my friends in Texas would say, he had to grow into his boots! What he learned in those years prepared him to take Israel and Jerusalem. How many times have you looked back over seasons in the wilderness imagining they were wasted. David had several opportunities to shorten his time in the wilderness, yet his unyielding trust in the LORD to promote him, caused him to gain valuable experience. Don’t despise your “wilderness” embrace the LORD, lean upon Him, in the midst of it and you’ll receive far more than you could ever imagine.