“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon.”
(Acts 3:1 NIV)
Every afternoon at three o’clock assorted temptations, disguised as harmless distractions, knock on the door of my mind.
It started when I was a teenager. I jumped off the afternoon school bus and raced home to a much-anticipated snack. Mid-afternoon was my comfort time, my down time, and my time to relax and chill.
I have deliberated with many women who struggle as I do. This time between lunch and dinner triggers an alarm to reach for food in the refrigerator and pantry. My self-controlled, thin cousin told me she could hear every cake within a hundred miles calling her name, saying, “come and eat me!” I, too, hear that call escalate at 3 pm.
“About the ninth hour (3 pm) Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Matthew 27:46 NIV)
Jesus endured the fiercest temptations and submitted Himself to the ultimate sacrifice at three o’clock Good Friday afternoon. Something horrific and holy happened on the cross. Our Savior died at the same hour faithful Jewish leaders conducted afternoon prayers. They prayed to their God, their Creator, as they ironically crucified Him.
As I wrote this my alarm chimed 3:00. A daily notification on my cell phone reminds me of this awful, amazing, and wonderful time. A lyrical tune calls me to stop, look, and listen to God’s Spirit at this sacred time every day. The alarm is a distraction from distractions, a call to breathe, relax, and focus on the only One who can truly satisfy every desire.
I look forward to my afternoon prayers when I give all temptations and struggles to my Savior. I hope you will, too!