Lent Devotional: Thursday, March 28

 By Josie Adney

"And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.' The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness." Mark 1:11-12
A friend recently confessed to me that they were in a dry, spiritual season... she likened it to John of the Cross's "dark night of the soul." I told her that I too had once experienced a season of weariness, wanting for God, and quietness that stretched for months and months on end. The two of us reflected on this time of spiritual wilderness.

In times of unnerving silence, when we feel as though God has turned His back, we can know that we are not alone. This is a normal feeling... one that the psalmists proclaim over and over. I once found myself very perplexed by the story of Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness.

Immediately after the Father acknowledges Jesus at his baptism and speaks words of affirmation and love, the Spirit whisks Him away to the wilderness. It is not Satan, who soon tempts our Savior, drawing him away or even angry townsfolk pushing him away. No, it is the Spirit of God who leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. The Lord had a purpose and presence in Jesus's wilderness season. Jesus remained steadfast and faithful by leaning on the Word of God to strengthen Him in the moments of Satan's trial.

The Lord has a purpose for our times of spiritual wilderness. I believe that we are to lean into His Word, even when we feel far off or stranded, so that He can provide the strength and endurance we need to continue our travel onward in life. May we learn from Jesus' fine example and delve deeper into study of the Word of God so that we can be ready for times of trial and temptation.

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