Pause for Thought – a five minute read – 30

Matthew 4 v 1 – 11

I painted the fence today, well two panels of it any way, only 12 more to go. It is one of those jobs that I have intended to do for the past two years but never got round to it. It’s quite a big fence, fourteen panels in all and each one is high and wide so painting it is quite an undertaking. That’s not the reason for the delay or why it has taken so long to get round to it, there have been a multitude of problems to overcome.

First I had no paint and it’s difficult to paint a fence when you have no paint. Then my son-in-law knocked on my door and presented me with four tins of fence paint, for which I assured him that I was eternally grateful.

Then it was a matter of time. There is never enough time. It is strange that we always have the same amount of time but there is never enough of it. Seemingly time is magical and it disappears, one minute it is there and the next minute it has gone.

Then along came Coronavirus and overnight we seem to have obtained buckets full of extra time. I think the government had the extra time stored up somewhere in case of emergency and released it when the crisis was declared.

Then I had another problem, weeds, brambles, nettles and an Apple Tree had grown in front of the fence, so I couldn’t get near it to paint. Every time it rained the weeds etc grew higher and looked even more formidable every day. But then, along with the lock down, came warm dry sunny weather, with not a drop of rain in sight, so it was time to attack the weeds while they were off their guard.

After wearing my Machete down to a pen knife, it looked clear at last and now I could start to paint, but then;- Do you remember the Robin in Pause for Thought 5, well it liked my/his garden so much that it decided to take up residence in the bird box which is fastened to the fence, and bring his wife along. No working on the fence now.

I watched the progress of the Robin family with great interest, even observing the parents feeding the offspring on the lawn, a fluffy ball of feathers already bigger than both its parents. Then last weekend they all disappeared and the bird box is now empty.

I often have a conversation with my neighbour over the fence (well over 2m away), and he was asking me if fence painting was on the agenda. He said that it was the only way to save the fence and without painting it would turn out to be very expensive.

Now to a Yorkshire man words like ‘expensive’ are a great motivator so I thought it was time to take heed of his advice, and as I had expired all the excuses and now under threat of financial loss, I had better energise myself and introduce the fence to the brush and paint.

This I started to do that today and successfully saved two panels from impending disaster.

(Matthew 4 v 1)

There was no question of Jesus finding excuses to avoid has destiny to save all people through his death on the cross, although he had a number of opportunities or temptations to do so.

Satan presented Jesus with three opportunities to avoid the pain and suffering of his crucifixion, all of which appeared in human terms to plausible and Satan was very persuasive.

Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights so was very hungry, so the idea of materialising bread to eat would have been physically satisfying for him. But we are not talking in human terms, the Son of God never considered himself first and his destiny to the cross was more important than self- physical needs.

In human terms throwing himself off the top of the Temple tower would certainly have brought Jesus to the attention of a greater audience, and the miracle of being unharmed would have proved without doubt that he was the Son of God, but that was not the Fathers will but Satan’s and the Son of God would never take instructions from Satan.

The futile attempt to offer Jesus all the kingdoms of the world could never tempt the Son of God as they were already in Jesus’s possession, so there was no agreement to be made.

Jesus knew his Father’s will and his journey through his ministry, to Jerusalem and on to that hill at Golgotha, was his destiny, prophesised and inevitable. His death on the cross and his resurrection saved the world from the power of sin and offered everlasting life to those who believe and follow him.

The instructions on the tin of paint read; do not apply in rain or when rain is forecast. Just my luck, the forecast for the next week is dry, not a rain cloud in site.

Derek T.