“At once the Spirit brought him into the desert, where he was tempted by Satan for 40 days. He was there with the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.” Mark 1:12-13
“Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit as he left the Jordan River. The Spirit led him while he was in the desert, where he was tempted by the devil for 40 days. During those days Jesus ate nothing, so when they were over, he was hungry.“The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”Jesus answered him, “Scripture says, ‘A person cannot live on bread alone.” The devil took him to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant. The devil said to him, “I will give you all the power and glory of these kingdoms. All of it has been given to me, and I give it to anyone I please. So if you will worship me, all this will be yours.” Jesus answered him, “Scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.
“Then the devil took him into Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. He said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, jump from here! Scripture says, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you to watch over you carefully. They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock.” Jesus answered him, “It has been said, ‘Never tempt the Lord your God.” After the devil had finished tempting Jesus in every possible way, the devil left him until another time.” Luke 4:1-13
The Desert Zone
I spent most of my life in what I am going to refer to as the “Desert Zone” and for a long time I thought this was a bad thing. It is not often we hear of the desert being a positive place. It is super hot, sandy, and can even kill you. There is not a whole lot of life going on in the desert.
When I hear that Bible story, I share above with Jesus going into the desert for 40 days and nights it always felt like another judgmental story. Just another story where Jesus goes into the desert to accomplish what no other can ever do, and that we will never be able to achieve what He did.
I have shared time and time again with you that I was horribly mistreated by so-called Christians my whole life, so a lot of the Bible was misrepresented to me growing up. It was a way to keep me in line, and to show me that no matter what I do I will never be enough.
This led me to finding different ways of enjoying my faith. I would find sanctuary in reading other books based on Christian faith or listen to Christian artists that seemed to understand where I was coming from. I looked for the non-judgmental side of Christianity. I struggled a lot with the concept of the story with Jesus in the desert seeming to have it all together. He was in his desert trials and he overcame every single one of them.
Here is where we get to the important part where it all comes together my friends. This is where we get to The Desert Zone.
Turning Desert into Comfort
We spend our entire lives doing one out of two things. We avoid the desert at all costs, or we struggle in the heat of the desert all our lives. This is when you have to fully understand the concept of what The Desert Zone is all about for us humans.
First, we are not Jesus. His trials and temptations in the desert for 40 days and nights were a way of understanding Hid children’s struggles and hardships. He did not expect any of us to be able to be perfect like Him. He understands that our deserts are going to be a little longer and little different than His was.
Second, Jesus does not put so much of the judgement and burdens on us that we imagine. We sit here in our home of sand dunes and think that we are all alone in the heat and sun. However, Jesus was in that cruel heat as well. Jesus was tempted in the desert. Jesus was tormented by the devil. Jesus was put through the trials and tribulations too. Jesus knew the right words to say, and the right things to do to get out of the desert.
Third, we can learn from Jesus. Every single story He shares with us in the Bible us one that is meant to touch us at exactly the right time. He will put you in the exact location of that desert at the exact right time for that story to take root. He needs you to go through all the trials and temptations for a reason my friends. He is not a cruel God. He is preparing you for what is to come in The Desert Zone.
Now this is where God turns a small part of that misery, we call our desert of life into a comfort zone. He takes what makes you safe, loved, peaceful, happy, and feel important. He puts it right in the exact spot it needs to be in order to grow and thrive in that sandy landscape.
Personal Desert Zones Thrive
This is where we go when life is falling apart at the seams. This is when things get really hard, and the devil is throwing everything he has our way. When we are just walking around aimlessly in that desert, and the devil is whispering all that nonsense in our ears. We need to find The Desert Zone fast my friends.
The Desert Zone is our safe place in our own personal deserts. It is the place we go to sit with Jesus and talk to Him about what is going on in our lives. It is the place He can meet us at, and He will be like I understand where you are coming from. I have been in this same desert. I did these trials. I dealt with the devil too. I know what this feels like.
It is the most personal connection you can have when you are in the lowest moments of your life. I have been there many times. I recently lost everything. I often lose everything over and over again. It happens so many times that I have turned numb to the process of loss. It is just another item like getting milk at the grocery store. I am always the person who is let down, lost, broken, abandoned, used, forgotten, mistreated, and shoved in the corner. I am the person who spent most of my life thinking the Bible was a book Christians used to judge and condemn people. I am the person who thought I was destined to go to hell no matter what I did, because everything I did was never going to be enough to please God.
Until I figured out how to understand the true meaning of The Word, Our Lord, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and that not all Christians want to hurt you. There is a Desert Zone with your names on it my friends. Jesus is sitting there waiting to talk to you whenever you need Him. Our Lord made that safe place just for you, so you don’t have to struggle so much in that sandy landscape.
You can invite others into The Desert Zone of your life. You can bring the ones who need that extra safe place the most into it with you. You can explain to them that there is a place filled with love, peace, safety, hope, and grace. Jesus is waiting and ready to listen to you in a place made just for you to offer you comfort in the hard times. None of us are truly alone my friends.