“Being in the Desert” by Melanie Blaszczak

Photo by Flickr User eviljohnius

1st Sunday of Lent

It is really easy to be a Christian when everything is working out for you! Prayer, sacrificing for another person, and even overcoming temptations can seem like a walk in the park. But when things do not seem to go our way, we start doubting God and our prayer becomes shorter or non-existent, sacrificing for another person just doesn’t seem to make us happy, in fact, it can make us irritable, and we can succumb to our temptations a lot easier.

In our journey of faith, we can often experience consolations and desolations.  Consolations would be when God feels near to you and makes his presence known, and we experience a lot of peace and joy.  Desolations on the other hand would be times when God feels distant, and we may even begin to have doubts that he’s even there, or that he cares about what’s going on in our life.  Sometimes God even allows us to go through a time of desolation so that he can bring a greater good out of it.

In my life I have experienced both consolations and desolations in my walk with Christ. And while the consolations left me so joyful and feeling lighter than a feather I must admit that feeling would soon leave me. On the other hand, when the desolations hit I did not want to go into the desert with Jesus because I was scared. But I knew that when we are called into the desert it is not because God is punishing us, it is because he is trying to grow or stretch us – because remember without Good Friday we would have never reaped the benefits on Easter Sunday.

This Sunday we see in the Gospel that even Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was called into the desert to be tempted by the devil. In the Gospel, we see Jesus being offered everything he could ever want; power, wealth and fame. And Jesus in front of every temptation turned to God and put his trust in him wholeheartedly. That, even though, all he could ever want was just one temptation away, he still chose to trust in His father. We see this so clearly when Jesus tells the devil, “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Jesus is telling us to put our faith, hope and trust in God even in the midst of being tempted.

This week let us not be afraid to step into the desert with Christ. We as Christians should embrace being in the desert. Even though it may seem like a real trial, I’d challenge you to see it as a gift. If we listen closely while being in the desert, we will hear that Jesus is still there whispering consolations to help you prune, grow and stretch areas of your life that will only bring you closer to Him.

So as Christians as we start Lent together let us pray for one another and let us be inspired by Jesus’ unreserved confidence in the Father. Let us pray for an increase in trust in God as we step into the desert for the next forty days and forty nights. And when we are in the desert, Lord, help us to press into you more and grow closer to you for you alone satisfy our hearts and you alone are enough no temptation or sin could ever compare to that!

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