Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seasons of Hermitage

Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus was “led” by the Spirit out into the wilderness. Mark says that the Spirit “sent” or “drove” Jesus out into the wilderness. Sometimes we are led, and we simply follow, trusting in God to watch over us wherever this leading may take us. Other times we are driven, thrust into some season of loss or grief or other difficulty, without even having the choice to follow. Either way, God is there with us. And if we are living in dependence upon him, it will make no difference whether we are led or driven.

The Greek word for “wilderness” is eremos, which is where we get the word “hermit.” It has to do with what is desolate, solitary, lonely, uninhabited. Sometimes we seek solitude and stillness, away from the business of life. Sometimes we are called or led into it for a time of fellowship with God, away from the distractions we daily face. Other times, we are cast into it by circumstances and driven to dependence upon God.

However it may be, God is always with us, even when we cannot make out his presence. All may seem darkness and night around us but God sees us just as clearly as if it were noonday — not only sees, but watches over us in loving care. We can know him even in the dark, with Christ and in the Spirit, and so learn to love and trust him more.

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