From Baptism to The Wilderness:

Real life highs and lows

Dearest Reader,

Have you ever experienced a moment where life’s alignments are near perfect and you feel as if you are on top of the world? We don’t get those moments often in real life, do we? Typically, the moment we are experiencing this feeling life has a way of crashing down around us. Right?

Can I tell you a story? It begins with Jesus, Savior to the world, Savior to me and you, who loved us enough to come down, living humbly, an everyday and ordinary life.

“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’ ” Mark 1:9-11 (CSB)

Jesus, the beloved Son of God, baptized in the Jordan by his cousin John. He comes up out of the water, the heavens are torn open, and we hear the voice of God. Wow! Other than crossing from this world to the next this is big.

Let’s look deeper:

“Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving him.” Mark 1:12-13 (CSB)

Jesus quickly moves from baptism to the wilderness.

When we read and are told Jesus experienced everything on this earth in his human form that we do, I fall a little short on that reassurance. I struggle to grasp the reality of The Son of God experiencing the angst, the heartbreak, the pain, the same temptations as me. Do you, or is it just me?

Here in Mark, we see Jesus raised from the water of the Jordan River, we hear the Voice of God, we see him affirmed as his Beloved Son. The very next moment he’s driven into the wilderness. There he spends forty days with Satan. Satan, the same, low down, dirty playing scoundrel, and evil incarnate. The very enemy of our soul. Sound familiar?

A couple of weeks ago my Sweet Man spent Saturday doing mission work with our local church family. I spent the day watching Beth Moore’s Captivated simulcast. When the simulcast ended I was on top of the world. High on Beth’s teaching, praising at the top of my lungs, with only Sweet Lola to hear me, holding pages of copious notes. The pinnacle of spirituality. Until.

I fell off that mountaintop with a resounding thud. Truthfully, I leaped off, entering a nasty place. Grumped up, snarky, discontented Oprah’s nutritionist/chef extraordinaire was not on hand to prepare a tasty, nutritional meal for us. And while we are being honest, can I tell you, I felt discontentment with my home, my man, (who was Sweet in the prior paragraph), my life…

From a spiritual height to the lowest of lows! I quickly resembled the woman in Proverbs 27:15, rather than a godly woman who’d just spent her day under the teaching of Beth Moore! 

“An endless dripping on a rainy day and nagging wife are alike.”

OUCH! And I know the wilderness! I have been there. I am there, living daily with chronic illness and chronic pain.

I also know a faithful God who tenderly meets me here. The same God who tended his only Beloved Son.

The reality of Jesus, experiencing the hard edges of life, just scooted a bit closer to my own reality. My own everyday, ordinary life.  Jesus, in his human form, experienced the same highs and lows of real life we do today.

Humbling thought, hmm?

“I’m remembering you’re right there. Every day I see your faithfulness.

You were there all along. That’s the story I will tell.

You brought the pieces together.”

You hold the broken. You hear my every cry.

My eyes are open. I know that it is well”

Morgan Harper Nichols – Storyteller

(with Jamie Grace)

Gifts of Grace

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.

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