First, a disclaimer. This photo is not of Israel.  It is a photo Love Bug took on a visit to friends.

It is a photo of a barren inhospitable land seduced by evil to ease the life of hardness in an unyielding land.

This is where we lived for a season. A barren inhospitable land.  Little vegetation, little water, little air.  It was high up above sea level.  Some cultures and religious practices build on the high places to be closer to God. This one was no exception. In fact, it could be a prime example.

But the temples and prayer poles do them no good in this barren land.

Lent is a time of preparation for us. Easter or “Resurrection” Day is a key celebration in the life of the church and believer.  I love it!  The reminders of the depth of God and His sovereignty, of the sacrifice to come.  Of the hope that is ours today!

Then I remember.  Forty days of desert. Forty days. No water, no food.  Time of preparation for the Messiah, for the man who would be leaving the desert for Jerusalem.  It would take three years to get to Calvary and the tomb.  It would take three years for Him to make it home.  Jerusalem is among many things, the symbol of heaven, the forever place for us with Him.  Jesus showed us the way, the way to Jerusalem.

But first,  forty days of taunts from Satan, the fallen angel that took about one-third of the angels with him.  The deceived ones led by the Deceiver himself.  The physical temptations. The spiritual temptations. The humanness of it all.  The Deceiver and liar threw every temptation out. If you don’t see yours, look again, between the lines. It is there.  Jesus deflected them with the Word.  Spoken and recorded for us to know exactly how to face the barrenness of taunting and temptations.

The desert full of valley and high places was essential to His preparedness, for us to understand, He was a man and He was like us.
Later, He often would go off to separate places of solitude to pray, to prepare for the next thing.  And ultimately the next thing was the horror of the cross.

This Lenten thing I am being to suspect is a hard thing, to glimpse into the desert of temptation and preparation.  As I look at this photo of this unyielding land,  any temptation to get out of it and away from the hard things would be very attractive.  Not that a believer is to live in barrenness, on the contrary.  Yet part of our spiritual journey does include a landscape of hard, of barren and temptations to flee.

Does it expose my own unwillingness to yield?  Or do I deflect the temptation to run with the Word and with call to Him for help and reminders of His forever presence?  Strangely, I am still willing to glimpse and with great hesitation, to go there but only with Him.


About chinamom3078

I am a woman who loves Jesus who loved me first. Prone to wander and distraction is common for me as I seek to reflect Him in my daily life. I am wife, mom, and grandma who has lived on 3 continents in 26+ apartments, townhouses, military housing, suburbs and now a 200 plus year old farm house. Preparing and hosting meals for the hundreds who have passsed through our home has been a joy and blessing to our family as we listened and shared over meals, coffee, light nights and Bible studies. A rich life! I have reached the age to feel qualifies to be an ”older woman” (as in Titus) even though I feel far from old and have plenty of room to grow each and everyday. And my joy is to teach Bible studies and help train other women to lead well.
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2 Responses to Barren

  1. Stephanie says:

    Really appreciate your words here Linda. I just sat with the Lord looking into the “grief to the point of death” words he spoke as he entered the garden. …such a deeply sad look. I felt heavy and could sense the darkness —just a touch—he might have felt that day. And, I distinctly felt like I didn’t want to do this “lent” thing this year! …too heavy. …too sad. And, I asked the lord a similar question— is this exposing my own unwillingness to enter in, to yield, to lay down, to be sad with you Lord? Thanks for sharing. I feel I must plunge in and journey on with Him, next to Him…

  2. omega57 says:

    Entering into willing into the possibility of great deep emotions that lead to probing and examination is not easily undertaken. With you in the journey and know He is too.

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