Temptation charms desperation
with bread made from stone,
“Just one bite,” he whispers.
Your craving disowned.
Temptation’s plea to the lowly,
“Put your Lord to the test,
for it is not He, but me that
can bring your heart rest.”
Temptation commands the pleased,
“Worship me, don’t you see,
it was by my hand
that this secret way
your path does lead.”
Our answer to this temptress,
“Very nice things you offer,
but there's this Man I follow.
Within barren desert,
you met this walker.”
“You see, by following Him,
there is nothing I shall need,”
and by grace-filled words,
the tempter takes his leave.
Before you begin your day:
Stones are often utilized to secure things or persons to their place. If you've ever had a bit of rock stuck in the bottom of your shoe, it is something not missed. As you step forward, the little pebble scrapes the ground. You attempt to push your foot forward to rid the shoe of this nuisance, but it only digs in further. Frustrated, you stop, jerk your foot upward toward the sky, reach down, and pry it from the treads. Sometimes, it still refuses to release its grip, so you dig in deeper.
The shard comes loose and bounds uncontrollably into the abyss.
Do you feel secured to some stone? You drag it along day after day, as it scrapes at your soul. You attempt to rid yourself of it, but its relentless grip will not permit release. Take these next few moments and stop. Breathe. Turn your gaze upward toward the sky. Reach inward, and allow our Blessed Lord to help you pry it from the deep treads within. Listen as we step forward.
What do you hear? Stubborn scraping? The gentle rubbing of The Holy Spirit?
Where in time does this stone secure you? Past? Present? Future? How long have you been lugging it around? Does the rope that tether the two of you come in the form of anger? Sorrow? Grief? Worry? Stress? Linger here a minute with whatever feelings your body offers.
Bread is utilized to feed, to heal the hungry. If you've ever been hungry and the waiter/waitress offers a loaf to the table, that first bite is delicious! It might serve as the best bread you've ever eaten. "Oh God, thank you for this delicious bread!" Something similar might linger on your crumb-covered lips.
Return now with that yearning to the stone you carry. How can this burden transform into sustenance? Do you hunger for riddance? What do you need from the Lord to see this ache as a vital offering? Allow your body to return to Him. Listen. Permit Him today to dig in deeper, loosen the rope's grip, and tether it to Himself. He will help you diminish its strain.
The shard comes loose and transforms gracefully into nourishment. Bread from Stone. "Oh God, thank you for this heavenly feast."
During your day:
He said in reply, “It is written:
'One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God'
(Matthew 4: 4)
Read Psalm 32: 7-8; Psalm 51: 12-14; Ephesians 2: 21; Matthew 4: 1-4; Matthew 7: 7-9
Throughout your day:
INHALE: Take the stone of _________________________ from me.
EXHALE: Transform it into healing bread.
(repeat as many times as needed)
Before you end your day:
I kept it secret and my frame was wasted.
I groaned all the day long
for night and day your hand
was heavy upon me.
Indeed, my strength was dried up
as by the summer's heat.
Our sins, our griefs and troubles,
he bore and made his own;
we hid our faces from him,
rejected, hungry, and alone.
His wounds are for our healing,
our peace is by his pain:
behold, the Man of sorrows,
the Lamb of sinners slain!
(adapted from Hymns)
Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.