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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 February 2013: Rev'd Jeanette Richardson, Petersfield Methodist Church

Wilderness Days

Last year we were fortunate to be able to seek the winter sun in Lanzarote. The sun was lovely, but it took me some time to adjust to the dry, rocky, volcanic landscape that was in the early stages of rebirth. It was my first experience of wilderness. As the week went by, and we explored the rocky paths, I reflected on how Jesus may have felt during his 40 days in the wilderness. It seemed to me that the landscape he was inhabiting at that time may have reflected his inner turmoil, and confusion about what the future may hold.

Most of us have times when we feel alone, and have difficulty in making sense of what is happening in our lives. During these wilderness times we may feel quite negative. Painful memories may haunt us, we may dwell on our failures, and even feel that we have nothing of value to offer . There may be little hope that things will ever get better. If you are feeling really low, it would be good to see your GP, but there may be other things that you can do as well.

In the wilderness Jesus was forced to think again about those things that had given him strength in the past. He began to see things in a new light, and came out of that difficult time with a new understanding of himself and his place in the world. Perhaps there is a faith community near you, or trusted friends who can be alongside you as you explore inner resources of which you are not aware. Resources, that once tapped, will be part of your way of life for all the days that are to come. A source of sun in the winter.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 20 February; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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