Family vacation is something that has always been important in my family. We have hung out on beaches, hiked mountains, explored cities, and ate lots of delicious food. We have had the chance to go on lots of incredible adventures together. For me, vacation is something I always look forward to. It is a chance to get away, escape, and relax. We don’t go on vacation hoping to encounter testing and trials. But that is just what happened to Jesus in Mark 1.
The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, 13 where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.
In the verses just before these Jesus was baptized and God’s spirit came down on him and declared that this was His son. After this declaration the next thing we read about is him facing Satan head on for forty days out in the wilderness. In The Message version it says that, “this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild.” Jesus pushed to confront his greatest enemy with nothing else and no one else.
I think that many of us fear or avoid silence and solitude because we know that it will make us face things we would rather avoid. When we remove all the other things we are faced with head on with the truth of life. And this isn’t something that in our humanness we really love to face.
My challenge for us as we learn from Jesus in these verses is that we remember the necessity of facing those challenges. We remember that as we face them we are not alone. Just as Jesus had angels who took care of him, we have a God who is always with us. Designate time in your day or in your week and face something you know you’ve been ignoring. Be honest with God about where you are at with it and give yourself a chance to hear from him about what is happening in your life.
Sarah Lancaster is a founding plant team member at The Table. For the past 5 years she has served on our Leadership Team and oversees the worship ministry as a member on our staff.