Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wilderness

Matthew 4:1-13

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you,and they will lift you up in their hands,so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Wilderness

Is different from a desert
More cut off
More arid
Closer at hand.

Nothing else is there
Except our doubts
And our wants
And our desire to leave.

There’s only one way out,
To admit that we are there
To be prepared to stay
To lose all fear of being alone.

After we laugh at the liars,
Resist temptation,
Reject earthly power
We are allowed to leave.

~~Elizabeth H. Theofan

This poem was copied from over at RevGals, courtesy of Listing Straight. I am in a wilderness today. It feels like a wilderness of fear, dispair, anger, frustration, walls, prejudice, anger, tears, and anger. And anger? Oh yes.

Perhaps if I can use the anger to spur me on to positive action I can leave the wilderness? Can I prepare to stay, as the poet says? I don't know. I'm not an angry woman, usually. Today I am angry. Perhaps it is righteous anger, or maybe it is just self pity. More likely that.

Do you suppose Jesus was angry during his wilderness experience? Frustrated? Afraid? Or just determined to overcome?

8 comments:

Ruth said...

I think Jesus felt all of those and more. He had a lot to grieve over while he was in the wilderness. An acknowledgement that he was God's son yet would be called on to do something very difficult in going to the cross. He may very well have expected to be the King of Israel, like the disciples thought he would be.

You have every right to feel what you feel. You've got a bunch of major emotional stuff going on right now which would make anyone feel overwhelmed. Two losses at the same time would certainly make me angry!

(((( hugs )))) You're doing and being exactly what you need to do and be right now.

P.S. an after-thought said...

Yes, all of the above.

NE/ME said...

Couldn't have said it better. Sending prayers and hugs.

net said...

(((Singing Owl)))

Iris said...

YHWH took His people to the wilderness to manifest Himself to them. He still does that. Anger is good for you right now as well as all the frustration. He is still leading and guiding and caring.

All you are feeling is part of the process of His revealing. Go ahead -- feel all -- He will show up. We identify His manifestation of Himself with all things we enjoy. But He took them (and the Lord) to the wilderness to great purpose in Him. Not comfort as we know it, but nonetheless part of our journey.

Loving you in our Jesus and praying.

Todd said...

I must say that this poem that you shared is lovely......

you may like my friend's blog

www.nthegarden.blogspot.com

he has much to say about things like these...

peace to you,

Todd

Crimson Rambler said...

Owl...just thinking about you on a bright cold day here...and wishing you well \*/

Mary Beth said...

Ditto what they said.

Myself, I so like to believe Jesus was mad as heck part of the time. That's part of the human in him, right?

loves to you.