Yet, now it seems fairly clear that,
- For the inexperienced, accomplishment can lead to pride.
- To the road weary, a recognized achievement can morph into physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion.
- For the grateful, experiencing God’s help in unusual ways can raise doubts about whether he could “do it again.”
- For the hard and conscientious worker, self-sacrifice can result in feelings of future entitlement.
The Bible may have been telling us all along to “watch that step down.”
After the power of the Exodus, Israel found themselves in a wilderness wanting to go back to Egypt (Exod 14:11).
After praying fire from the sky, and killing the prophets of Baal, Elijah ran for his life and wished he could die (1Kings 19:4).
After Solomon built the temple and a reputation for unparalleled wealth and wisdom (1Kings 10:23-24), he built pagan altars for his foreign wives on the hills surrounding Jerusalem (1Kings 11:1-8).
After Peter promised the Lord that he was willing to die for him (Luke 22:33), he denied three times that he ever knew Jesus (Luke 22:55-60).
That may be one reason the temptation of Christ tests the Son of God at what would have been-humanly speaking– a most vulnerable moment. It was after hearing the Father say, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, at his baptism, that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Matt 4:1).
Am not saying… to expect the worst after good times, or that we should become fearful or superstitious on the heels of success. Neither do I want to minimize the danger that comes with profound periods of disappointment that leave us confused, fearful, angry, beaten up, and feeling sorry for ourselves. Just wondering whether you also have seen from your own experience, and in the Bible, why its important to remind one another to “be careful” and to “watch your step” when coming down the mountain (or tree).