Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. Luke 4:1-2 (NIV)
Have we ever felt like we were walking against the wind? Does it seem sometimes like we are struggling uphill? Nothing seems to go right. We struggle against the odds. A bad turn of events force us into difficult times. How can things get so far out of our control? Why must something enter our lives and ruin the smooth running and comfort we strived so hard to attain?
Could it be that the Spirit of the Lord is at work? Is it possible that somewhere in the Heavens Someone is looking down onto our scene? Could He have seen that we were headed in the wrong direction? Could we be unknowingly outside of His plan for us? Could God be using our situations in life to bring us closer to Him? Is it possible that the strife we encounter is somehow preparing us to hear His voice? Might these inconveniences be opening our hearts towards Him? Could a little trouble be just what is called for to make us ready to stand out in faith?
Do these trying times throw us further upon the Lord for help? Is it to Him where we turn? Or do we set our attention on the work at hand. Do we grit our teeth and clench our fists? Do we attack our situation with all the force we can muster from within us? Do we go first to the Lord? Or do we first try everything we can think of to fix the situation ourselves? If God was allowing us to enter these situations for our instruction, how much closer will we come to know Him if we hold off His council to the last resort?
It may be difficult to know when our struggles are brought upon us by our own undoing. Must we think that God allows these hard times to come to us? Would that make us trust Him less to think He knew beforehand that we would suffer? How could God be so cruel? Is it because He can weigh the outcome against our pain? Does He know that what we stand to gain is worth the tears and the sweat? Can He really see what it will take to prepare our hearts to receive Him as they should? If He knows that this struggle was necessary to turn us from our ways, is there a Way to shorten our sufferings? Could working along with His efforts get us through our trying times a little faster? Might we be restored unto Him sooner if we did turn to Him as soon as the breeze begins to hit us in the face?
Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. We may not like to compare His situation with ours. But He did feel isolation. He was tempted. And He felt what it is like to starve. How did our Savior get through His trying time? Where did He find strength? Did He muster up His own resolve? Did He resort to His own effort or strength? Or did He rest in God the Father? Did He hold tight to the Word of God? Was the strength that came to Him because He looked at Himself? Or was He looking so fully to what God was working on, that He was willing to suffer whatever was thrown at Him?
Dear Lord, we face trials every day. They are real and they are difficult. Sometimes we do not know how to support the pain or weight of our problems. Could turning to You help us get through them? Are You waiting for us to do that? Is it possible that even the worst situation we face could be an opportunity to get to know You better? Please give us strength. Help us with our load. Show us the Way through our difficult times. And bring us safely to You, we pray.