And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. Luke 4:1-2 KJV
We missed our connecting flight in Chicago once and spent five hours till the next one was available. While my wife was happy to walk around, shop a bit and spend the day content until our flight, I shamefully stomped back and forth around the terminal repeating more times than I would like to recall, “This is stupid! I can’t believe we missed our flight!” Dealing with down time has never been my strong suit though, because God has orchestrated multiple occasions like this in my life I have learned to go with the flow far better than that day in Chicago. Did you ever wonder what Jesus did with all His “down time” during that 6 1/2 weeks in the wilderness? It is easy to fast forward through these verses to get to the action scenes with Jesus crushing Satan by the word of God and heading out of the wilderness to His ministry. But forty days and forty nights is a long time. Of course we can be pretty confident that Jesus spent many hours in prayer, but what else could he have been doing from sunup to sundown?
But maybe Jesus could leave that wilderness in power, not simply because He defeated Satan, but also because He had learned the secret of rest. He had not worried what people thought about Him back in Nazareth, He rested in God’s plan. He didn’t try to start planning the ministry that lay before Him He simply enjoyed the peace and quiet. Maybe Jesus passed time watching birds and heard His Father explain how He cared for them. Maybe He watched seeds sprouting up by a stream in that desert place and saw how tiny beginnings could grow into trees able to bear fruit for hungry travelers. When it was time for breakfast and His stomach growled like every other man’s, maybe He just quietly thanked His Father for the living bread of His word to give Him strength. We will never know till heaven the answer to all these questions but it might be instructive during our next down time, to pause and ask Jesus what He did and then ask Him how to be more like Him during our own time of waiting in the wilderness.