Struggling With A New Reality

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

Gospel – March 1, 2020 – Matthew 4:1-11

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
esus answered him,
“Again it is written,

You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”

Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.

As I await news of my friend, David Schalchlin’s wonderful wife I can’t help but apply the 40 days and temptations of Jesus. Sharon Hodges Schalchlin is one of the most beautiful people I know. I wouldn’t know her at all if not for her marrying my best friend. It’s funny in a way mainly because of what she has made of that best friend. He is better by having her in his life. I’m better for having her in his life and thus mine. I know he would do anything for her. With her in such a precarious state I wonder what could be going through his mind. We’re close – just not that “mind melding” close. David’s dad was a preacher and I – well, I was no preacher’s kid.

My guess right now is he’s trying to think of what he can do to “fix” this. How can he trade places? How can he get her well? How can he bring her home? To a home that must be so terribly lonely for him now. What kind of bargain can he offer to heal this woman he loves so much?

This, to me, is where Jesus finds himself today. In a lonely place, struggling with a new reality – he’s the Son of God. He is being tempted by Satan with a wonderful life with everything he could desire. And while, I believe he might have wondered – he never wavered. Even when Satan taunted him about his trust in God.

Today, I pray for healing – for Sharon whom I have grown to love and adore – that she be completely healed of this terrible evil attacking her beautiful heart and she return home to David.

But I pray for David also – that he is able to lay all of this at the foot of the Cross – and realize that the Devil will be tempting him. God give him strength in this time of testing and pain. I hurt with him – this is the curse of loving others – that their pain becomes yours.

But if we can avoid the temptations of this world – numerous as they are – we can see miracles. Stay vigilant my friend – Jesus has this.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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