One of life’s certainties is that each of us will have periods of testing. We will encounter periods of trial and crisis. We will do battle with demons of our soul and mind. Each of us will have painful and difficult periods in our lives, that will forces us to question our values, motives and decisions.
Even Jesus faced temptation. The scripture tells us that “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1-2a
Any manner of trouble or crisis can drive us into wilderness places. Feeling unloved and unheard can send us on destructive paths. In the wilderness we face ourselves and our vulnerability. Shadows linger in our memories and haunt our days. Temptation strikes in situations where we grasp onto any hope, vision or dream that promises escape from our wilderness.
The Greek word translated as “temp” mean to “try” or “test.” It means to test a person so they reveal their true identity, including strengths as well as weaknesses. Our wilderness periods force us to discover who we are. There we cannot hide from our true selves.
In our darkest moments, it can be difficult to believe there is life on the other side of pain. Yet, God’s promise is that we will never be outside the grace, goodness and compassion of God. What we cannot see with eyes full of tears, is that God has a way through the wilderness. Leading us one day at at time . . . One step at a time . . . To places of healing, hope and restoration.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these might forget,
yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15