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There are times when it seems like life is going along just fine. It's not perfect, but on the whole, things are going well. You're content. You may even experience a period of particularly intimate communion with God.
And then ... BAM!
Suddenly, you find yourself in the midst of a spiritual wilderness. Life looks bleak. That special intimacy with God has turned into a desperate clinging to Him in order to survive. And the wilderness time goes on ... and on ... and on.
Precious mom, Jesus knows how you feel. Not just because He's God, but because He's been there.
The incident in Jesus' life that we're going to look at today occurred when He was 30. Up to this point, we don't know much about Him (except for His birth and that trip to Jerusalem when He was 12). But it's reasonable to assume that He had a godly upbringing and a decent life up until then.
At age 30, as we know, it came time for Him to begin His ministry. I imagine that He was probably looking forward to it. He was about to embark upon the calling for which His Father had sent Him to earth in the first place. So He goes to His cousin John to get baptized and get started.
We're told that after His baptism, Jesus had a particularly intimate moment of communion with God. The Father sent the Spirit down in the form of a dove to alight upon Jesus, and Jesus heard His Father's voice confirming their relationship and His love for Jesus. What a moment that must have been!
But then, things take a surprising turn. Immediately after this "mountaintop" experience, Jesus is driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. God took Jesus from that spiritual high and placed Him right in the midst of a lonely time of spiritual attack. And these attacks continued for 40 days and 40 nights (the original Greek makes it clear that Satan was after Him the whole time, not just with those three temptations at the end).
There's no indication in Scripture that Jesus knew how long He'd be out there. He may very well have known only that His own Father placed Him into this wilderness, and that He would simply have to survive spiritually until it was over. He would have known that eventually, in God's perfect timing, the attacks would stop. All He had to do—though it was huge—was hold out until then.
And He did. Eventually, the end came. Scripture tells us that Satan left Him, and God sent angels to minister to Him.
We don't know exactly what the angels did. I imagine they comforted and reassured Jesus. Maybe they even brought Him some food. The point is that God didn't just send the devil away and then send Jesus back out into the countryside, spiritually and physically weary, to pick up where He had left off.
From far before the wilderness time began—from eternity past, even—the Father had planned for it to take place. But more than that, He had also planned for the restoration that would take place afterward.
You may be in the midst of a spiritual wilderness right now (or if not now, you may find yourself in one in the future). It's hard. It's painful. It's lonely. But God has made spiritual provision for you during this time, just as He did for Jesus. He knows just what to do to bring you through. And not only that ... but the angels are coming.
You see, just as God knew from eternity past that your wilderness time would come, so He also planned from eternity past not only to walk with you through it, but to strengthen and comfort you in special measure when it is over.
Satan may be after you now. Life's circumstances may be after you now. You may be tired, scared, hungry and lonely. But the end is coming. And so are the angels.
Hold on, weary mom.
Hold out for the angels.
Matthew 4:11—Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold , angels came and ministered unto him. (KJV)
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books.) She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.
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