022 After the Wilderness, a New Beginning

Can anything good come out of painful experiences like the loss of a loved one, the loss of a career, unwanted singleness, infertility, personal failure or other broken dreams? I believe so. In fact, I’ve experienced it.

In Resurrection Year I describe these difficult seasons of life as ‘wilderness’ experiences. In this talk, recorded at Parramatta Baptist Church during my Australian speaking tour, I share Merryn’s and my wilderness journey (in more detail than I have before), and explore how God makes the wilderness a place of surprising revelation, provision and discovery for us all.

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In the Talk

Question: Have you ever had a ‘wilderness’ experience? Tell me about it

The wilderness can be a sad, dry, barren place for sure. But using lessons learnt by the ancient Hebrews through their own historic journey, I explore the wilderness as also:

  • A Place of Revelation where what’s in our hearts is most truly revealed
  • A Place of Provision where God fulfills our needs in surprising ways
  • A Place of Discovery where we find an identity that can withstand every loss
  • A Place of Transition where we enter a new phase in our life’s mission


‘God may not answer every prayer with a miracle, but He does answer a few with a surprise’ Tweet this

‘In the wilderness we discover who we most truly are – children of God, our Father‘ Tweet this

‘A greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life forever defined by one’ Tweet this

Episode Resources

You may find the following links and resources helpful:


  1. I am taking bookings for a 2014 UK and US Resurrection Year speaking tour now. If you are interested in having me speak at your conference, church or other event, please get in touch. You can find more about my speaking here.

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Question: Have you ever had a ‘wilderness’ experience? Tell me about it


  • November 20, 2013
    John McCafferty

    G’day Sheridan,
    Just listened to your Podcast and I completely agree that it is during the wilderness experience that you find out who you really are.
    My wilderness started when my wife divorced me in 2010 after 15 years of marriage. For the next 3 years I suffered depression, low self esteem, believing that I had failed as a man, as a husband and as a Christian. My depression caused me to leave my church and even abandon God, resorting to alcohol to numb my pain.
    Since my divorce I had blamed my ex wife for everything and had become very bitter towards her. However one night I had a good long look at myself and did not like what I saw. I saw a selfish Pharisee with a heart of stone. This revelation caused me to repent and cry out to God for His forgiveness. I was immediately aware if His presence and heard Him say to me – You are not your own, you were bought at a price, I am His.
    Immediately the binge drinking stopped, the depression left and my ex wife and I are getting on better than when we were married. I have gone back to church (Thrive in Caringbah, perhaps you know it (lol) and God is blessing me in so many ways.
    God bless you and your wife for sharing your story.

    • November 20, 2013

      Oh John, what a tremendous story! On so many levels. Thank you for sharing it.

  • November 20, 2013
    John McCafferty

    PS, Romans 5:3-5 Is very relevant to post wilderness Christians:-
    “because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.


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