Notice your breathing.

With each breath, become aware of the love with which God looks at you in this moment.

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The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here; for it’s written: He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.

Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God.” After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

Luke 4:9-13

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Sometimes I wish that I was God. Like a little kid, I sometimes want to be “the boss of me.”

But that’s not how it is. Really, I’m not in control of the world, or even everything in my own life. What I am is a human being, and humans are dependent. The word “human” derives from the Latin word “humus,” which is dirt. (Not to be confused with that delicious stuff you eat.)

To be authentically human is to know that I come from dirt. It’s to be humble. It’s to realize that I’m part of nature, part of humanity, and dependent on God. The opposite of humility is pride or arrogance – which is trying to be in control and do everything my own way.

During his time in the wilderness, Jesus is tempted to be arrogant, to jump from a tower and force God’s hand. It sounds crazy. But haven't we also engaged in risky behavior while praying that God would save us from the consequences?

How is God beckoning you to a more authentic, more humble way on your journey?

Jane Hartwell

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God, when I’m tempted to be arrogant, help me to say “no.” Teach me true humility and to realize my dependence on you. Amen.

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Whenever you find yourself journeying through a wilderness,

struggling with temptation, with weakness,

fearful of the shadows in your heart,

remember the words of Paul:

“I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.”

Romans 8:38-39

Jane Hartwell

Jane Hartwell was the Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, where she enjoyed creating retreats with teens. She lives in Portland, Maine.

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

Mark Hayes

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