Wednesday, March 21, 2012

But the Wilderness Is So Nice

I just looked at the Lent calendar and realized how close Easter is.

My first thought should have been getting excited about eating brownies made from scratch again.  But it wasn't -- that was the second.

My first thought was, "I don't want it to be over already."

Beginning before Lent, I began seeking God in a more open and direct way.  But during this Lent season, my daily devotionals, my meditating, praying, and scripture reading have increased to almost be where I'd like them to be.  Many mornings have skipped my viewing of "The Daily Show," and instead read or listened to teachings of faith. 

In addition, my relationship with Angela has reached a new sincerity that my own sin and selfishness and fear prevented.  It has certainly been tough.  Opening to Angela and remaining honest is not something I'm good at.  In fact, the only reason I used to be open to Angela or anyone else was to share "just enough" to appear open and honest.  Only through God's grace and mercy and Angela's, have we come to a point where joy is always near even in times of hurt.

I wonder how Jesus felt.

I'm not sure when God revealed to Jesus the path to death.  He probably knew it all along.  In the wilderness, though, he wasn't going to die.  Jesus was tempted in major ways, but he knew he wasn't going to die there.  In Matthew, after the temptations, it says, "Angels came and were ministering to him" (4:17 ESV).  That must have been a wonderful experience.

So wonderful that I would have been tempted to stay.  What if that was the last temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness:  Just stay and be fed spiritually and intellectually. 

That's where I am right now.  Sure I want desserts, but my connections with God is such that I don't ever need something sweet again (I know I never did -- I just always wanted it). 

More than dessert, I'm scared about what will happen with this connection that is so strong.  And even if it continues until we leave Thailand, how can we keep close contact with God when life in America tries to get in the way again?

I really like the part of Fireproof when she asks what day he's on, and he says, "43. . . . Who says I have to stop?"  That's the complete truth. 

There are 40 days of the Lenten season.  But once it's over, who says I have to stop?

Each day is a new day, and each day I continue to seek God.  Luke tells us that when he left the wilderness, "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit" (4:14 ESV).  Each day we are seeking to be filled with the Spirit.

One day at a time.

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