Many weary Israelites in the sere and sunless wilderness of mortal mind seem to prefer, in a mesmeric perversity, their blissless and bitter wanderings to the strife and warfare which are necessary to procure their deliverance. Kaspar Hauser would understand. There will be no dying, waiting, or loafing their way out of it, nor will there be a consoling sop for the feckless laggard.
One will remain an itinerant Israelite or through many wrestlings and struggles with error become one of the Children of Israel. Brother bird, with which of these flocks do you choose to perch upon the bending branch? The decision is ours. The grumbling of the disobedient Israelites for water at Massah (testing, temptation), or Meribah (strife, contention), illustrates one lesson the wilderness experience offers. Even Christ Jesus was tempted in the wilderness at the end of his 40 days there, recalling the Israelite's 40 years (see Matthew 4). The devil came to tempt him, and three times (another significant number) Christ Jesus rejected the temptations, the final time with the righteous command of Truth, "Get thee hence, Satan".
No one simple lesson can be distilled from the Israelite's experience or that of Christ Jesus, but one admonition we can take from either is that strife, struggle, and mighty wrestlings will be necessary to overcome the multitude of temptations that keep us in the wilderness and deny us the dawn of that kindly Light, a "spiritual sense which unfolds the great facts of existence". (S&H 597: 18-19) Our dear Leader assures the dispirited wanderer: ". . . we can become conscious, here and now, of a cessation of death, sorrow, and pain. This is indeed a foretaste of absolute Christian Science. Take heart, dear sufferer, for this reality of being will surely appear sometime and in some way." (S&H 573: 26-30)