Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and I can’t get through a five minute conversation without getting irritated.
I am laughing - sort of, about this, because in the past few weeks I have had people contact me saying that they “knew I would understand.”
And, it is true. I think because I am willing to share my vulnerabilities that people feel more comfortable sharing theirs.
On that note, I have had numerous encounters this week that have frustrated me. The main one is with myself.
Sunday I opened up my bible and read Matthew 4:1-11 -
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
And then in verse 7, Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
In verse 10, Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights and THEN the devil tempted him.
After reading those verses on Sunday, I had a meltdown Monday. Not with anyone else but my fears, worries, and anxieties. What mama doesn’t these days?
Fentanyl, school shootings, automobile accidents to name a few. The world is a scary place.
I was so filled with worry that I could hardly function at work. I did something I never do, I drank a mimosa at noon and walked back to my office.
I got testy with someone and couldn’t wait to get my daughter after school and hang out with her.
When I went to bed it hit me. 40 days and 40 nights. Could you do that?
Can you encounter your own fears or anxieties with gentleness and resist the devil? Can you handle someone else’s irritants and stay calm?
It is said when we get to Heaven we answer for ourselves, no one else.
I can’t say well so and so did this. That’s not how it works.
So today as I write this, I am humbled again that I have a long way to go.
Easter is in less than two weeks.
I admit I have not done much for Lent or anything else besides work and sheep to prepare my heart.
But I feel like this is a good place to get real and say if you are struggling in this capacity, you are not alone.
We weren’t meant to do this life on our own. And today I am grateful for God’s mercy and forgiveness because I fail over and over again.
So maybe the next time someone gets under your skin, you don’t handle a situation the best, or they don’t appear to be the kindest person you have run into, ask yourself if you could handle 40 days and 40 nights.
Because, I can’t.
Watching women’s March Madness college basketball with my family I notice there is a lot of unkind behavior, intentional fouls, even an assault in the handshake line.
It is so easy for me to point out someone else’s failings. But holding up a mirror to myself, this week has reminded me we ALL fall short of the glory of God.
Zach Williams sings, “A little more like mercy, a little more like grace
A little more like kindness, goodness, love, and faith
A little more like patience, a little more like peace
A little more like Jesus, a little less like me”
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