Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you”,
and “On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
“Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.” ’
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. Matthew 4:1-11
Tested and Tried
Faith is a precious gift not for a shelf
but for a life of living and breaking
made resilient and transforming
in the middle of our darkest nights.
We cannot know the presence of God
cannot feel the spirit moving in us
until we like Jesus know the wilderness
temptation, hunger and isolation.
Our loving God creates beauty
our human spirit jealousy and greed
when we wrestles with our devils
we are broken open to receive love.
Our darkest hours and our failures
are not to be feared but embrace
our humanity seeking the redemptive love
our frailty seeking strength in surrender.
God stands with us alone in the dark
on the precipices of falling down
next to us on the edges of collapse
holding us in our deepest sorrows.