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I am not a happy camper. As in: sleep in a tent. As in: cook over a fire. As in: dig a latrine. EWWWW!!

Tents invite mosquitoes. Creepy crawly things join me as I try to sleep on a bed of rocks. How can I gauge the temperature of an iron skillet over an open flame? My cooking skills nosedive into blackened eggs stuck to the fry pan and charcoaled hot dogs on a stick. As for the the hole-in-the-ground latrine and my abilities to use one – let’s not go there.

Put me in an RV with electrical hook-ups and a bit of real plumbing, my attitude improves. But remember: my idea of a perfect vacation is a five-star hotel on the beach. Dream on, Linda.

For Christians, life on earth is camping out with other Christians. God has provided us with His Word, so we usually feel snug and secure. Like RV camping – the comforts of home without being home. Christians can enjoy a little of heaven on earth, but we’re not in heaven yet. The wilds of this world don’t come close to the safety of our FOREVER HOME with Jesus.

I can keep dreaming of a perfect life on earth where nothing bad ever happens to me or mine. Where an occasional “minor” sin is easily blown into the wind never to bother me again. Where I love everybody, and everybody loves me. But big, bad things happen in this big, bad world, this spiritual wilderness. Accidents, crimes, sickness. They shouldn’t come as a shock, yet we are forever asking “How could this happen to me?”

Then there’s my own sinful nature. It never gives up. It follows me through the wilderness, a sniper waiting for the perfect shot. I’ve spent over forty years battling certain negative attitudes and actions. With God’s help I get the upper hand, enjoy some relief, and then that sharpshooter sneaks right back in. The war continues.

Yes, conditions are rough, even hostile. I deal in skirmishes while others around the globe literally die for their faith. The dangers of spiritual warfare surround us. We need to be well-armed to ward off attacks, wearing the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17), staying nourished in His Word, and continually drinking in His Spirit.

We’re on a journey. The journey is filled with obstacles, but the destination is worth it. We can survive the wilderness.

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