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Do you wonder why you sometimes experience an emotional low after a wonderful high point?
A dramatic scene opened the ministry of Jesus at his baptism (Mark 1:9-13). When he came out of the water, the heavens were “ripped open”, the Spirit manifested visibly like a dove and a voice from heaven spoke to affirm Jesus as God’s beloved Son. Then, “immediately” Jesus was “driven out” by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan for forty days in the wilderness – even among wild animals. Quite a dramatic shift.
I experienced one of the highest moments of my ministry life at Thailand 2017 – a mission and prayer consultation called by ICOMB and co-sponsored by MB Mission. Almost 250 church leaders from 36 countries assembled to discern where God is directing us in mission. It was a spiritual high. So much love flowed as strangers met and became sisters and brothers in Christ and companions in mission.
After I came home, I had a feeling of significant letdown. What more could I accomplish? My work is done! It took some months to realize that God was opening a new path for ICOMB as a result of this consultation, and I’m called to engineer the first steps on that path for us. Before that happened, though, I had to lean on the centering strength that comes from Scripture reading, meditation and prayer, and the faithfulness of God over a lifetime of ministry.
Did Jesus feel that kind of letdown as he was whisked away to meet Satan? We know from elsewhere that Jesus used the Scriptures for his successful defence, but Mark doesn’t tell us that! He leaves Jesus on his own until the angels come.
God cares about us. He cares for us. Even when our highs turn to lows. It’s important to know that the lows are okay. They are part of what it means to follow Christ on his path – even to the cross and beyond.
Question to consider: What are your sources of strength when you feel lost or low?
David Wiebe is Executive Director of ICOMB – the International Community of Mennonite Brethren – and is part of Westwood Community Church in Winnipeg, MB.
This devotional is based on Mark 1:1-15 and it is the first entry in MB Seminary’s 2018 Easter book called Follow Me.