The Wilderness and Providence – Day 1

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“and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” ~Mark 1:13

The Gospel of Mark, one of the three synoptic gospels and it only provides one verse about Jesus in the wilderness which is the verse for today.

Matthew provides eleven verses: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3fsearch=Matthew+4:1-11&version=NIV&interface=amp

The Gospel of Luke provides thirteen verses:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3fsearch=Luke+4:1-13&version=NIV&interface=amp

The Gospel of John does not record the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Though, John does record the “Feeding of the 5000” and it parallels the “Temptation of Jesus” found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Here’s a link to read the article, I found it to be useful: https://www.google.com/amp/s/jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/the-temptation-of-jesus-in-the-gospel-of-john/amp/

The definition of “Providence” is:

The author of this pamphlet I am using suggests that Mark, while scarcely provides details Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is quite possibly opening an opportunity of asking what it might have felt like for Jesus to wait for the Lord?

Strong’s Concordance
qavah: wait
Original Word: קָוָה
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: qavah
Phonetic Spelling: (kaw-vaw’)
Short Definition: wait

Brown-Driver-Briggs
verb wait for (probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring

The word “waiting” meaning twisting, very much like making a rope. It reveals action instead of passive behavior. Being active is to have hope, expectant and even tension as we wait for God to act, but to also wait upon the Lord in service and in worship. Through these acts our lives become intertwined with God’s as we serve and are served. Our single life thread becomes part of God’s divine cord. As we are bound together God’s strength becomes our strength.

Jesus was in wilderness not to simply pass the tests and temptations of Satan, it was preparing Him for His ministry as well as having His strength renewed for all that was to follow. Just as you and I are also using these forty days of Lent for renewal so that we are prepared for the coming days, weeks and months in service to “The King of Kings” to the “Lord God Almighty.”

As I was studying the reading for today a favorite verse came to mind, it is Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” What an encouraging verse! This verse was first introduced to me when I was in high school, used for motivation. Later, when I attended college this verse once again provided motivation on a much larger scale for me. It was an anchor verse for the college, now a university (Judson University), I found it helpful in my scholastic endeavors as well as my athletic pursuits. A quote from the current President of Judson University, Dr. Gene C. Crume, Jr. “”My definition of unity is when we live in faith with great hope because we love one another,” said Dr. Crume. “I end all of my speeches with the statement ‘It is a great day to be a Judson Eagle’ because it is a statement of unity, of faith, hope and love. It is an expression of faith, remembering those who established Judson University in faith all those years ago. It is an expression of hope, just as it says in Isaiah 40:31, ‘those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.’It is an expression of love for each other, because that is what brings us here today. I accept the opportunity to serve in unity with you as we shape lives that shape the world. It is truly a great day to be a Judson eagle.”

God’s strength becomes our strength when we serve and worship God. It is through these acts of faith and worship we are bound together and Christ’s strength flows in us. How spectacular is that!

When were you strengthen, either by waiting on others or by being waited on?

I had the opportunity this past April to experience of being “waiting on.” I had total shoulder replacement surgery and required a lot of assistance. It was a challenging time for many reasons and I’m so thankful for the lessons learned. I tend to be a fairly independent woman but I found myself in need of help with the basic of needs. I wasn’t completely aware of what my limitations would be like. Going from having two functional arms to using one and that one being non-dominate, it was tough! I was to be off work for 2-3 months but I managed to return after one month. This was only possible because of help and support from friends and family. I gained an awareness of humility and patience during my recovery. I was dependent upon others to drive me to appointments, meal preparations, clothing and bathing. Early on I learned a very valuable lesson. Accepting help is not charity or pity, it’s love and kindness; I was looking at life from my perception and not from what others were doing and seeing. I mentioned earlier that I see myself as independent but I am also very giving of my time, resources, and talents. I feel useful when helping others. When we are reluctant to receive help it assistance from others we are denying others of their joy. But, the most valuable lesson I learned was twofold, a happy life is a “balanced” life and for balance and happiness to flourish boundaries need to be identified and respected. God used my recovery time to teach me and to love me.

~Blessings and Peace~

References:
http://www.judsonu.edu/
http://biblehub.com/hebrew/6960.htm
https://www.biblegateway.com

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