Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Devotional -Snapshot 29 - Bored

"If Christianity is dull and boring, if it is a burden and not a blessing, than most likely we are involved in a project, not a Person - a system not a Savior, rules rather than a relationship." Following Christ Joseph M. Stowell

"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry." Luke 3:1,2

Forty days alone, without food, without books, without pen and paper. No bed - where did He sleep? On rocks, in caves, on sand, on palm branches? Wrapped in His cloak?

When we go on a forty day fast we sleep comfortably; we still have fellowship and conversation; we have books, and the Bible to catch up on; we have writing paper to record our thoughts; some go to work, make phone calls; we pay our bills, go shopping, attend church, we shower with hot water and soap; we listen to beautiful music and Christian tapes of speakers; we pray in air conditioned and heated buildings.

I find it remarkable to be absolutely alone without another noise but my own. I find myself wondering what did He do all day? Didn't He run out of things to pray about? Forty days of nothing but fellowship with God - may I dare write what flits through my mind about forty days in the desert - boring! Without TV, radio, bed, showers, conversation, telephone, church service, Bible study, trips to the fridge to put ice in my water. Forty days alone! Amazing!

I have always envisioned it being one big ache and pain. Every day arising cold from the desert night to endure heat of the desert day, achy from sleeping on the hard ground, stomach knotted from hunger, my mind remembering all I could not have that day - no baked bread and pomegranates, no grapes or roasted lamb, restless for something to do - something to say (by day two I would have spoken all that was on my mind to God, now all I would have left was introspective repetition).

Then on top of all my physical distractions (oh yes, don't forget the bugs - a dry climate is wonderful for gnats, ticks, hoppers) - on top of that there was the super-natural temptations of Satan... to do and think sinfully. To be for forty days alert and constantly in control of my thoughts... never sinning once in my thinking - no enduring the boredom with day dreams, no envisioning the excitement of future earthly glory, no meditating on what I will eat when this is all over - perfect control of thought.

But wait a minute - was it boring for my Lord Jesus? Was it devoid of joy and delight? Was it pure terror, work, pain; or pure praise, glory, love, pleasure? Jesus went willingly, He went with the Spirit. Were there moments of ecstasy as He communed with the Father? Did He sing, laugh, thank God for the cool drinks of water? Did He observe His desert creation in all its beauty? Did He reverently watch the sun rise and the sun set because He set it in motion?

Alone time for Him was not boring. It was filled with deep, reverent joy. Make it so for us, Lord.

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