If God had wanted to, He could have taken the Israelites out of Egypt and straight to the Promised Land.
Instead, He wanted them in the wilderness for a time. They were, however, in that wilderness longer than they needed to be. They made things a lot harder for themselves.
Even so, there are things we can only learn in a wilderness, so to speak. After 40 years, Moses came out of the wilderness to lead his fellow Israelites out of Egypt. And why did the Lord let them go through the wilderness? We find the answer in Deuteronomy 8:2: “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands” (NLT).
Wouldn’t it be nice if the moment you accepted Christ you went to Heaven? You finish praying, and poof! You’re in Heaven. God could do that. But He has us go through life instead. We go through blessings and trials and all kinds of things as He prepares us for Heaven.
There are things we learn in the wilderness. Our spiritual roots grow deep when the winds blow because God wants to make us more like Jesus. He’s preparing us for Heaven. And Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people.
As a human being, I tend to think of the here and now. In contrast, God thinks more of the by-and-by. I think of the temporal; God thinks of the eternal. I think about what will make me happy; God is more interested in what will make me holy. I look at the small picture; God looks at the big picture.
Maybe you’re in a trial right now. God is at work. He allows trials in our lives to help us grow spiritually.