I think a lot about Jesus secluding himself in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. I think of how he was repeatedly tempted. He must have been tempted. Even as the word made flesh, He was still human, and subject to the limitations of being human. Furthermore, it isn’t a noteworthy event if he weren’t tempted. And so, in turning down the devil, Jesus can be an inspiration for how to handle the darkness.
Because there are times the darkness is tempting, even as it continues to hurt us. There are times the isolation it pushes upon us is tempting, the work of engaging with the world seeming too daunting. There are times the temptation to engage in things that we know aren’t healthy, like fruitless hook-ups, drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc, seems so overwhelming. And in the darkest corners are the scariest temptations of all. The temptations to hurt ourselves. The temptation to remove ourselves.
However, the story of Jesus rejecting the temptations of the Devil shows that he has conquered that darkness. That God is stronger than the Devil, whether it is God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit. And in so doing, it is a reminder that someone strong enough to help us through the darkness is still here, is still with us. And that is comforting. At least it is for me.
Yet even if faith isn’t something that is a part of your life, recognizing that there are so many millions of us out there who have survived the darkness and rejected those dark temptations I talked about earlier can provide a similar inspiration. For me, this is an example of so many people trying to do the Lord’s work, but that doesn’t have to be how you look at it. No matter how you look at it, the simple reality is that we’ve been there, tempted in the wilderness, tempted in the darkness, and we’ve survived. And we can help guide you and support you out of the darkness too.
Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow for Meditation Monday