Image by Rebecca K Photography
By Pastor Tracey Leslie, Trinity United Methodist Church
What is a word you’d use to describe “wilderness?” One I’d use is isolating. We all know a lot about that these days, right?
Some of you know I have had multiple eye surgeries over the years. Some of my most intense feelings of isolation follow these surgeries. There’s just something about not being able to see that causes me to feel cut off from the world.
When Britt and I moved to Illinois and Indiana, we recognized that we were leaving family and their support in our times of need. Most certainly, my eye surgeries have been times of need. Yet God has blessed me in the wilderness with my church families. One surgery was performed while I pastored in Gary at Marquette Park and my most recent surgeries took place while here at Trinity. Each time, my church family has provided for me in so many ways – food, groceries, transportation, reading from papers and commentaries, picking up dog food, phone calls, cards, and flowers.
The gospel of Mark is often brief, concise and compact. When Mark relays the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, his telling appears to imply that WHILE Jesus was being testing and encountering the wild beasts, angels (or messengers from God) were also serving him (ministering to him).
To be human is to face times in the wilderness. To be human is to face the wild beasts. It is inevitable. And, when it happens, we will often assume we are alone. We will feel isolated. But, we are not. God sends his messengers of grace to serve us and minister to our needs. God grants blessings even in the wilderness.