Jesus went into the wilderness, faced some "hard times" for forty days, and was tempted by some "old devils." That is the story of Luke 4:1-12. Add the music of William Elliott Whitmore as the soundtrack to the story. Suddenly an interesting movie scene develops. The wilderness experience might have been a time of growth. The "hard times" might have been formative to the development of the personhood and mission of Jesus. The temptations and challenges posed by "old devils" might have been concrete obstacles Jesus had to overcome. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit filled and guided Jesus through this experience. God led Jesus through and out of the wilderness. And that is what God does in our lives when we go through wilderness experiences. When we're in a hospital waiting room, God is there. When we lose a job, God is there. When we have to make a difficult decision, God is there. God sticks with us through the "hard times." God also helps us resist temptations from the "old devils" such as pessimism, perfectionism, and busyness. In place of those things, God encourages us to embody sacred elements such as hope, realism, and balance. Those are the things that God gives us to get through the wilderness moments of our lives. Jesus modeled it. We live it. And Whitmore sings about it. Err...he at least sings about the "hard times" and "old devils." And what a voice!
"Hard Times" William Elliott Whitmore
"Old Devils" by William Elliott Whitmore