Instagram Jesus Week 4: Devotional Day 7
DAY 7 – Sunday
Mark 1:13b; Psalm 139
Today’s passage encourages us that even while Jesus was being tempted, and was in the wilderness, God took care of him through the ministering of the angels. Spend time lifting up those in your group who are going through a really tough time. How can you practically support that person this week?
When I was 20, I gathered with a group of friends and spent a night in a tent in the woods of East Texas. Late into the night, we were all awakened by the distant howling of a pack of coyotes. Their baying grew closer and closer, until it got quiet. Then we heard their quiet yipping and huffing as they circled our tent, padding around us. Eventually they left. I’ve had a couple of other night time wilderness close encounters like that, from hearing the banshee-like shriek of a mountain lion downhill, to the almost demonic screeching of two possums fighting outside of my tent. Every time, it was at least a little harrowing.
Which is why it’s no small detail that Mark mentions that Jesus was with wild animals in the wilderness. It highlights the danger, and more broadly, the evil that surrounded Jesus in his experience. I can imagine him alone, at night, shivering in the desert cold against a rock, seeing the eyes of some beast reflecting what light there was as it stared at him. Harrowing.
It mattered to me that in each of my night time encounters with wild beasts, I was not alone. I derived some comfort from the presence of friends, even if we all felt spooked. Jesus derived the same comfort, not only from the Spirit, but from the ministry of angels.
In our own experiences of life’s trials, we have that same comfort. The Spirit goes with us wherever we go. But also, we have the family of God to lean on, our brothers and sisters. When the “wild beasts” of life surround us, recall that we are not alone.