Saturday, February 20, 2010


'He will command his angels concerning you,to protect you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up,so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'"Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. Luke 4:10-13

I was in a grocery store recently, trying out some wonderful new technology. They now provide you with a hand held device that you can scan the prices of your items while you shop and so check out while you are shopping. The theory is that you can speed through the checkout - the device is scanned, it tells the cash register what you spent and then you just pay up. And, if you have been really smart, you have bagged your items while you were shopping so one can go sailing out of the store in a minute or two. No waiting on lines. No frustrations with a distracted check-out person. That's how it is supposed to work. How these things work for me is -never right. I did the scanning of my items fine, and bagged them as we went along. But when we got to the check out line, things went all wrong. I followed the procedure only to have the machine cancel my order, and make me restart seemingly dozens of times. I was so frustrated that finally some kind sales clerk came over and took my card, pushed a few buttons, snatched the hand held device and threw me a pitying smile as she walked away. No wilderness, 40 day testing, but the kind of daily testing that makes each of us feel small and shamed. The kind of testing that wears one down to a frazzle.

Jesus faces the devil who tests him thoroughly. The devil hadn't thought up self-checkout in those days but I am sure Jesus understood how impossibly trying it was to be human. Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, the Savior of the world, went through his 40 days in order to understand the depths and agony of our pains - small and large. He struggled with all the beasts and demons the devil could provide - so he wrestled with all the things you and I wrestle with. And came out knowing that God would see him through even the worst trails, even the worst hunger, frustration and testing.

Today, I want to be thankful for each little test and challenge I face today and ask that each might remind me that God promise of salvation is for us all, me included. "He will raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand." That promise of God's rescuing and abiding love is for all of us today, however we are tested and tried. May we rejoice together in a God who loves us so completely.

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