March 1st Devotional
My brother-in-law owns a camp in the Adirondak Mountains. The camp has no running water but does have electricity – now. On one of my trips from the hut out back, I suddenly stopped as something grabbed my attention. The sound of nothing. Silence. Complete calm silence surrounded me in the forest.
The moment was beautiful. Despite living in the country, I’m not used to silence. Noise pollution is quite abundant even in rural America. The constant hum of the Turnpike, traffic going by on Mason Road, the roar of motorcycles, the whistle of the train and the bang of gunfire are all normal in our country setting. On more than one occasion I’ve had to go into the house to talk to my Mom on the phone because I couldn’t hear above the din of sound. No wonder I was stunned to be in the wilderness surrounded by silence.
Lent begins with Jesus in the wilderness. We may imagine the wilderness to be like the Adirondak mountains or the Arizona desert. The wilderness could be a stormy sea or even the noisy Ohio countryside. For some the cityscape is as much a wilderness as the open sky. We equate the wilderness with discomfort and even threat. Wilderness brings uncertainty and anxiety of the unknown. Jesus’ travail into the wilderness tells us something we often forget. God is there. God is in the wilderness. The wilderness is a place to meet God.
We may need the stark silence of wilderness to notice.
We may need the reminder of presence when the wilderness is busy and chaotic.
We may not know how we got into the wilderness or even why we are there. We may go intentionally into the wilderness. Yet, what we do know is God resides in the wilderness. We are not alone.