Saturday, February 29
The temptation of Jesus story is indeed a strange duck. It falls immediately after the baptism of Jesus where we hear the spirit of God declare, “this is my Beloved son with whom I am well pleased.” Call me a skeptic, but does a loving father proclaim his love for his only son, and then drive that son into the wilderness to face a fierce adversary.

Maybe – just maybe, if that loving father knows that his love is a refining fire that molds, shapes, and brings forth something ready for fire itself. These moments of fasting and temptation are real to Jesus, and they are real to us. We face our own demons attacking us from subtle places and in the haunting spaces of loneliness and doubt. And we do so, not knowing exactly what we will look like or be prepared for on the other side.

If we are honest, aren’t we all tempted to seize power for ourselves at all cost? Aren’t we all tempted to know security by testing our and God’s limits for our well-being? Aren’t we all desiring to play God’s role in the biggest act of life?

The good news for us during these Lenten days is found in verse 11, “Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.”

Prayer: Oh, loving God, though I face fiery trials and tempter’s snares, I will wait for you for you are never too far. Amen.

Steven Baines

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