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May 31, 2024


“Experiencing Brokenness (And Healing) in the Wilderness”


My Wilderness Story: Part 1


In May of 2024 our church was in a series called: The Wilderness, where we opened the Bible together and examined different examples of God’s people experiencing challenging seasons in their lives that God used to form and deepen their dependence upon him.


I commissioned into the United States Navy Reserves --- JUST THE RESERVES, PEOPLE…I AM NOT LEAVING WHITE OAK ;) --- in April of 2024, as it had been my dream to serve in the military my whole life, specifically as a Chaplain---where I have the opportunity to meet the spiritual needs of our women and men in uniform. Needless to say, for this dream to happen at age 44 was unexpected!


What was also unexpected is how LONG I was in the Wilderness with this pursuit, having tried for years and years to enter the service with every door not just closing, but slamming shut! To the point where you look up to the heavens and have, what I call, your own “David moment”, saying, “God, what is going on…? “Why would you call me to this at such a young age and not make this happen?” “Other people are getting in, this is so unfair…” “It doesn’t make any sense…”


David: A Man After God’s Own Heart


I mentioned David in the above section without any context or pretext---to peak your interest---because his wilderness story is the archetypal version of all of our stories.


David, a man who God chose to be the king of Israel but had to wait years before he could assume the throne. A man chosen to be king but had to sleep outside and hideout in caves, and was hunted for years like a dog by King Saul (the King God replaced) because Saul was insanely jealous of David and wanted to kill him. This man whose family was chosen to be the family that Jesus would come from, had to endure this unfairness…that’s where my human mind goes, every time.


And then I pick this up my Bible: and I get some proper orientation…I get reoriented to the ways of God, and how God does things, and this hard thing to accept---which is that wilderness, and suffering, and the allowance of hardship and opposition and trial---are actually a part of God’s plan for molding us into what He wants us to be!


An example of this can be seen in the writings of David, who wrote so many of the greatest Psalms when he was in the Wilderness, on the run for his life:


Psalm 22:1


1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


Does that sound familiar? This is the same thing Jesus said when He was suffering on the cross!


You see Jesus went where David was. He had that moment, crying out to God and hearing nothing back. He had that “desert” moment, and yet just like David, he never lost where He was with God!


My Wilderness Story: Part 2


During my time in the wilderness I identified so much with David, but like him I always seemed to have enough orientation, through my faith, to know that God was doing something and one day I would understand.


I had a Holy Spirit feeling in August that I needed to try and pursue the military one more time, and it began to be revealed to me why God had been keeping in this place for so long.


I have a pride issue…I’ve dealt with it my whole life, and it was pretty clear that if I had been accepted into the military 8 years ago, it was going be about being an officer, and having a rank, and being respected, and about me, basically. And God said, “that’s not happening…in fact, I’m going to have to break you of this, and it’s not going be quick or easy…”


And it wasn’t---it was long and painful. But when the Navy recruiter called me for the first time and asked me why I wanted to serve as a Chaplain, there was nothing left to say but “I want to serve God and other people.” I had nothing left. I had been broken of everything else, and all I had left were the reasons that God wanted me there in the first place.


And guess what happened? All the doors swung WIDE open! I had pursued this for 8 ½ years my way, and coming back to God’s way it happened in 5 ½ months. And it was such a freeing feeling knowing I was doing this for God’s reasons and not my own.


I still struggle with pride, I probably always will. But God couldn’t get me in to do what he wanted me to do unless he broke me of that piece of it. And it was long, and it was painful, but God He’s faithful.


Psalm 18:30


As for God, his way is perfect:

    The Lord’s word is flawless;

    he shields all who take refuge in him.

David states categorically in this Psalm that God's way is perfect, and His Word proves true. He does not say God's way is easy, but it is perfect. David's years of evading Saul and his men brought hardship, but through it all God was true to His word and perfectly used every trial to mold David into a faithful servant.

A Final Word


In closing, as a member of the United States Navy, we recently celebrated Memorial Day. Remember that freedom always comes at a great cost, and also what our Lord and Savior said: “13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). 


Let’s be grateful and continue to celebrate the FREEDOM we have in Jesus Christ and the great cost of the cross!



Darin Hudson

Ross Worship Pastor & Programming Manager

White Oak Christian Church


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