At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)
I ran my first and last marathon five years ago. Like many athletes after a big performance, I had trouble working up the motivation to start running again after the big day. Not only was I unmotivated, but within seven months of running, I also got pregnant. The next couple of years were a cycle of pregnancy and nursing as I had my two children. I exercised during that time, but was never truly satisfied with my fitness.
Once I finished nursing my younger boy, I finally dived back into working out, waking up at 5 a.m. each morning to run and lift weights. After a year, I’m now back to the fitness levels I had in college—maybe even better. But the only reason it happened was because on one of those painful early mornings near the beginning of the process, I realized the struggle couldn’t be separated from the reward. The harder the struggle each day, the more I pushed myself, the greater the reward.
The first verse after the baptism of Jesus, where God acknowledges him as the Messiah, the Spirit sends Christ into the wilderness. For Jesus, the wilderness, in which Satan tests him and angels care for him, is intimately connected to his ultimate testimony. Without bondage, there can be no deliverance. Without pain, there can be no mercy.
Name three ways you’ve seen God minister to you in your wilderness.
Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate and lives in Arkansas with her husband and two sons. She likes to read to the kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.