Sustenance in the Wilderness

Welcome! We are continuing our adventure through the wilderness this week after enjoying Alone in the Wilderness a little while ago.

I have refreshed our supplies, we have a thermos for our all important cuppa with a nutritious trail mix for a little sustenance along the way. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Taking the scenic route 

We are journeying through the wilderness of Vancouver Island, Canada with the TV program Alone.

Focusing on one particular season where there were seven teams of two, dropped off in the wilderness, instead of ten individuals as in previous seasons. 

However, there was a twist to this series that the contestants didn’t see coming; each team was to be split up!

With one team member being dropped off at the coastal base site & the other dropped off 10 miles into the interior of the island. With only a compass & heading to find their team mate on the coast!

The teams included a married couple, two father & son teams, & four brother duos.

Each team member who was dropped off at the base site went about preparing a comfortable wilderness base camp for themselves & their team mate whom they hoped would eventually arrive.

The team members who were dropped off in the middle of the island had to trek long daily distances through virgin wilderness, including having to find their own water, food & set up a camp each night along the way.

All of the trekkers were hoping their team mate on the coast had prepared a dry & sustainable base camp for them when they arrived. For all the trekkers were getting physically depleted & soaked through from the persistent rain & rough terrain.

It took the trekkers between 8-10 days to reach the coast & find their team mates!

Food For Thought

What I’ve noticed in all the seasons hubby & I have watched in the Alone series, is that all the contestants though very experienced in wilderness survival, find it increasingly difficult to find a sustainable food source as the extreme weather approaches.

While some had the strategy of bulking their body weight up in the months before this wilderness experience & others had faith in their wilderness skills, knowledge & abilities to find enough food to sustain them.

All without exception begin to feel the effects in the lack of daily nutrients that their bodies need to sustain good health.

This gave me food for thought regarding our spiritual walk my friend. Reflecting upon the following; Are we absorbing enough daily spiritual nutrients to sustain our spiritual wellbeing?

Relationship

What really stood out in this particular series of Alone is that all the individuals faired much better emotionally, teamed up with a loved one.

Where in previous seasons with just individual contestants, the long isolation from loved ones had caused many seasoned wilderness participants to tap out!

This really highlighted the precious value of close relationships, as many of us have been reminded in the isolation from our loved ones during the pandemic with its social lock downs, restrictions & border closures.

We were all created for relationship not only with others but for one relationship in particular, more shared here Ladies & Gentlemen!

A sustainable food source

During this month we have been doing an exegetical dig into prayer, in particular the Lord’s prayer, let’s examine the entire prayer for a moment in modern language,

Our Father who is in Heaven,

Holy is your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven,

Provide for us today our daily needs,

And forgive us our transgressions as we forgive others, 

Help us not to stray into temptation, 

But deliver us from the evil one. 

Amen.

Matthew 6: 9-13

The verse, ‘Provide for us today our daily needs’, doesn’t just mean food, water & shelter. As the older English translation from the Greek reads,

‘Give us this day our daily bread.’

Jesus was teaching his disciples & us that we need to pray for our daily spiritual bread as well as our physical needs. How do we know this?

Let’s dig a little deeper into this verse & all will be revealed. 

A Twofold meaning

As with many places in scripture this verse has a twofold meaning. On one hand it’s teaching us to pray for our needs for that day, all our needs, physically, emotionally & spiritually.

And on the other hand as we shall discover, there’s an integral part of this verse revealed in the original Aramaic word Jesus used for daily, it is only used three other places in the transcripts of the ancient Hebrews & only here in the New Testament, it encompasses a future physical & spiritual context.

It was translated into Koine Greek, the trade language of the day, for a wider understanding & distribution,

…to provide ‘for our daily bread’…επιουσηι — epiousēi…means “for the coming day.” A prayer for our needs of the coming days, nourished by meeting the needs of today… Refer II

In other words, we’re being shown to not only pray to be nourished this day but for that nourishment to carry us into the days ahead!

You see if our needs of today are not met then we won’t fair very well in the days ahead…will we! There will be a compounding effect of malnourishment, as seen in the following example…

Going the distance for the prize

When watching the Alone series, you will notice that all contestants are very aware of going the distance to be able to win the coveted prize.

They are constantly thinking ahead trying to gather enough food & wood not only for their needs on that day but also for the coming needs of the days ahead.

Some become so conscious of this that they misjudge their nutrient needs each day & eat far less then their body requires (although they had quite a supply of food built up).

Eventually becoming malnourished to the point of starvation & have had to be urgently evacuated from the contest needing medical intervention! 

Other contestants have not been able to catch or forage enough food for each day, let alone for the days ahead.

Though there were plentiful supplies of fish in the sea, birds in the air & mammals around them for a sustainable food source. They just were not able to utilize these food sources to absorb their life saving nutrients.

These contestants also had to tap out realizing they were in grave danger of starvation & malnutrition from a lack of much needed nutrients.

While others consumed things that the human body can not easily digest nor should be consumed causing severe medical problems needing urgent medical treatment. 

The wilderness of life

There is a lesson for us all in this stark example. We need to ask ourselves the following;

Are we utilizing the spiritual nutrients that God continually supplies for us?

You see my friend we are all dependent upon His continual supply. But those supplies are not going to sustain us if we don’t utilize & absorb their nutrients!

The strategy of bulking our spiritual weight up on God’s Word in one season, thinking that strategy will get us through without further daily nourishment in another. May give us some reserve for awhile but will eventually take a high toll upon our spiritual & emotional wellbeing!

Conversely, not absorbing enough spiritual nutrients day to day, though there is plentiful supply for us will begin to malnourish & starve our soul too!

For that well balanced spiritual diet, we need the daily nourishment of reading God’s Word, time with Him in prayer & most of all a redeemed relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You see Jesus knew that we needed our Father’s nourishment in all our today’s to meet the demands of all our tomorrow’s!

Give us this day, our daily bread

[to be fully nourished in this day for the challenges in the coming days].’

Matthew 6: 11 Paraphrased

Until next time,

Jennifer

The next in this series is Forgiving the Unthinkable

From here to Kingdom come! the previous


© 2021 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog, All Rights Reserved.  Photos by Luis Fernandes & Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com 

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27 thoughts on “Sustenance in the Wilderness

Add yours

  1. I have never watched the show “Alone”, still I love your comparison between the show and life with God. Never before have I felt such a strong need to pray and stay close to God. Our nation (in the US) is going through rough times and I keep reminding myself that my strength comes from God and not from our leaders. Yesterday and today the verse came to me “Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world”. I am trying hard to focus on God and not fear.
    I enjoyed your great post Jennifer! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenny, you’ve so wonderfully brought the analogy of ‘Alone in the Wilderness’ and the daily spiritual nourishment we all are in desperate need of. Praise the One who feeds us all our needs . Just we need to humbly pray to Him.🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Saji! Yes, Our heavenly Father loves us to come to Him each day, knowing He is the One who supplies all our needs.
      Isn’t it wonderful that the One true Creator of the Universe invites us to come to Him every day! What a privilege! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I are currently watching season 7! We love this show and I absolutely love your comparison and how you broke this down! I especially love this part-“Are we absorbing enough daily spiritual nutrients to sustain our spiritual wellbeing?”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Jennifer for your insights into God’s Word. Yes, I need daily sustenance physically, but most importantly spiritually. The nourishment from scripture is always available to us, but we often let everything get in the way of spending the much needed time to feast on His Words.

    Blessings,
    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Pam! Yes, it’s a battle that we all have isn’t it!
      As Paul spoke about in the Word, the spirit is strong but the flesh is weak [for distractions] ! But once the battle is won, spending that time with Him in His Word is so life giving & invigorating! Bless you sweet friend ♥

      Like

  5. I am unfamiliar with the series, but I am very familiar with the pitfalls common on the spiritual walk. Ironically it is when we are in the wilderness that we need much more sustenance from God than when we are trekking along peacefully.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can remember praying the Lord’s Prayer each day before school as a girl. That was before mandatory prayer was banned from school. Thank you for the deep dive into this very familiar prayer, Jennifer! “Bread” can indeed have several meanings.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jennifer, what an insightful post, and I love “object lessons”, so enjoyed the parallel with the TV Series “Alone”. I especially liked your explanation of the Greek word for “daily”; what a blessing to think when we pray for God to meet our needs for today, the implications are also for the days ahead! Thank you for this encouraging post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna! It’s always lovely to have you drop in for a cuppa & I’m so glad you enjoyed your time here today.
      It is definitely comforting to know that when we pray for our needs to be met God covers today’s as well as tomorrow’s… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it interesting that we place ourselves in the situation we watch, planning what we would do! Hubby & I have great conversations about this & have it all worked both having been in the wilderness at doesn’t points in our lives. The predators are my main concern :-/ Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My experiences in the woods taught me some things… Fire isn’t always easy to start. Food isn’t always available and cold weather stinks. Beat these 3 things and you’re ahead of the game!

        Liked by 1 person

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