A frosted chocolate brownie

...that's what I feel like eating right now. Weird desire because I've had a rotten appetite since our last night in California when I came down with a lovely case of food poisoning. Thankfully, it had left me well enough to fly home, but I haven't felt much like eating since. IMG_2318So I'm eating vanilla ice cream and one of Randy's cookies (vanilla) instead while I listen to Randy continue to work on the bathroom tile. (I'd help, but the space is too cramped.) We left the work behind for a wondrous week in California to watch our son marry his lovely bride in Los Olivos, a little vineyard town not far from Solvang. The trip was rather whirlwind with bridal shower, rehearsal, wedding, a visit to see where our son works, and then Randy and I spent a few days touring San Luis Obispo or SLO as the natives call it and area cities. We chased a few sunsets and enjoyed exploring the sites...until we got back to L.A. and I got sick. Six nights later and I still don't feel great. But thankfully, Randy does and he's been painting and tiling and we are on track to finish soon, I think.

It's interesting the things God teaches us while we are struggling with feeling sick or sad even going through happy life changes - they are all adjustments and they put us through a gamut of emotions. And yes, I will admit, sometimes those emotions are crabby ones (when I'm sick). (Poor Randy.) I tend to vent to him, my friends, and yes, to God. (He knows anyway, so I figure it's better to be honest, even though I end up apologizing for being too snarky sometimes. He does deserve our respect, after all.).

In my crabbiness tonight, it occurred to me that it might help if I actually listened to His response. I mean, if we're going to tell Him how we feel, it might be wise to hear from Him in return. (No one really likes to just listen to someone talk and never get a word in edgewise.) So since I'm reading in Matthew and was beginning chapter 4, I started reading, "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." Wait. What?

IMG_2414Stop and reread that.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit...to be tempted by the devil.

From what I know of Scripture (James) God does not tempt any man. But right here it said that the Spirit led Jesus to be tempted. And then I remembered the prayer Jesus taught to His disciples. "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one." Hmm...

God does not tempt us. But He allows His Spirit to lead us into it. Perhaps to test us? To see how we will respond to it? To teach us? To strengthen us? To know what is in our hearts? (I'm pretty sure you can find these reasons mentioned in various places in Scripture.) That's a really sobering thought. And it makes "The Lord's Prayer" make a LOT more sense in that one spot. "Lead us not into temptation." Wow.

Wilderness of Judah 5Now I'm not saying that a frosted chocolate brownie is temptation led by the Spirit. But what I did realize is that Jesus taught us to PRAY that the Spirit NOT lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil or the evil one. Jesus knew what it was like to be in that wilderness and face the enemy head on. He knew temptation in the form of hunger and pride and greed and just giving up and take the easy way out. The devil came at Jesus with a LOT during those 40 days. Maybe that's why it was one of the main things He added to our prayers, right after requesting daily bread and forgiving those who sin against us.

In any case, it got my attention. And I've been praying it during my crabbiness this afternoon ever since.