10 Minute Daily Retreat Read the Daily Gospel Retreat with a prayerful heart.By Susanne Timpani (No.80)
‘The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.’(Mark 1:12-15)
Have you ever tried to set up a tent on a blistering hot day, with a northerly wind doing its best to tear it down again? This was my experience on a recent camping expedition. It was supposed to be a weekend getaway where I could knuckle down and get hours of uninterrupted writing done.
By the time i was all set up with the manuscript in front of me, do you think I could fight off the distractions? Instead of focusing on characters from the story, my mind played out recent scenes in my own life, tempting me to entertain negative emotions.
My thoughts turned to food as my stomach ached with hunger. Yet the prospect of eating warm sandwiches or tins of tuna was unappetizing.
But like Jesus in the desert, God sent His angels to minister to me before the day’s end. The temperature dropped as evening approached and I picked up the thread of my story and went to work.
The sky turned to ink, pierced with thousands of silver pin heads. As the privilege of experiencing God’s handiwork spread through me an awful thought halted it.
Snakes! Did snakes come out at this time of day? Or was it before dawn? Had I reinforced the tent enough to keep them out? I checked the edges of the tent by torchlight, several times, before satisfying myself that it was safe to settle for the night.
Jesus' experience in the desert was a least 40 times worse than mine! He was exposed to the elements, hunger, distractions, wild animals and Satan himself. Yet He needed to experience each of these to prepare Himself for the ministry that lay ahead.
Our personal prayer can sometimes feel like a desert with its distractions and discomforts. It makes it easier to share those feelings with Jesus, knowing He has experienced the very same for Himself.
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.
Next Reflection: Jane Borg Wednesday 25th February, 2015