In these or similar words ...

Dear Jesus,
How human you really are! Thank you for inviting me to be with you in your temptations. I was touched to be with you at such a vulnerable time. I know you were hungry after forty days without food. Yet the devil’s suggestion to turn stones into bread didn’t seem like a challenge to do a magic act. It seemed to be more about how you resisted the temptation to fill your immediate need to end your hunger. You wanted to end your fast only if it seemed like God’s will, not a more worldly motivation. The bigger temptation was to wrestle with the appeal to glorify yourself. The devil invited you into something that appeared not so bad: the devil promised you power and glory. What a temptation it must have been to justify yourself, to finally force people to see you as a powerful and important person.

I watched as you struggled with it, telling yourself first that it would be a good thing, that it would advance your ministry and help you reach more people. Then you had to stop and hold it up to God, your father and the source of your life. As you bowed in prayer, you knew that your glory wasn’t what you wanted. You wanted to be free enough of the chains of self-absorption that your deepest desire was to serve God. You couldn’t possibly accept power or honors — unless it came from God.

Dear friend, how can I learn that kind of strength from you? How many times do I fail in my temptations and make a decision based not on God’s desire for me but on my own desire to avoid humiliation or to look successful? Help me to want only to serve God, to be free of the traps of accomplishments and recognition, and to feel the joy that comes with that freedom.

As I get to know you more and more, I want to be more like you, to live my life like yours. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for being with me and for inviting me so deeply.

Week 20 | Online Retreat Home | Creighton's Online Ministries Home