I have never had the privilege of being in a real wilderness, but the images – the colors and the vegetation that grows there – are images that brings excitement, wonder and thankfulness to my heart. Our God has created everything good and even in those arid places where it seems that nothing is alive, God is there moving with power. The wind, the Spirit of God, is there accompanying creation and us in solitude and stillness. The wilderness images bring to mind the words of the psalmist, be still and know that I am God.
Lent is an intentional season when we seek to bring solitude and stillness to our life so that by removing the noise, the distractions in our lives, we can concentrate on the Spirt of God guiding us to respond in confidence to our higher calling to love God and neighbor. Jesus was sent to the desert after the high moment of his baptism of being confirmed publicly as the Son of Man, and there he was able to discern that his calling was higher that what Satan was offering.
It might be that today we find ourselves in the wilderness, intentionally seeking a deeper relationship that will guide us to fulfill our call as daughters and sons of God. Perhaps our wilderness is our current season where nothing is going well and temptations are just creeping in. But God is there breathing life, breathing hope, so that we will not let Satan get us to give up.
Bread, money, power exist in this world, they are part of our daily living. Sometimes they seem to be the important things that we must desire and seek, but Jesus showed us a better path, a better way in the wilderness, to choose God, to trust in our creator and in the higher purpose that each of us have. So, tell Satan with confidence today, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matt.4:10)