I didn't discover the Apophatic tradition till about halfway through theological training - the idea that we can only describe God in the negative, 'the via negativa', because all the pictures we try and use are sooner or later found to be inadequate. So, yes, He is like a shepherd and a rock, up to a point, but these images really fall short to describe the indescribable. He is not like so many more things that He is like. It is negative, but in a good way. It sets God free to be Himself, or to be more accurate, to be 'Godself' (you even have to watch gendered pronouns).
|Christ in the Wilderness, 1898, Riviere.|
That's what the wilderness does for you - it strips you back to essentials. James Fowler*, in his writing on faith stages, which he plots like psychological stages, always shows the journey of development as going from certainty to questioning, then to some kind of broad and contented 'synthesis' between what you knew, what then became worryingly less clear. In other words, questions are good, and we mustn't fear uncertainty.
So we shouldn't be put off by an apparent absence of something spiritual that used to be present and nurturing, and which now seems to have gone, or at least to be ineffective. In the end, the negative, the absence, might lead, by God's grace, to something deeper and more long lasting.
Which is why, despite my extroversion, I try not to fear the wilderness.