Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of. (Matthew 4:2-3, The Message)
I've taken lots and lots of tests on my way to a master's degree. The longer I stayed in school, the longer I procrastinated preparing for the test. I spent a few all-nighters writing term papers, but I never stayed up all night studying.
I never spent forty days preparing for a test.
When I needed to concentrate, I went to the library for peace and quiet.
I never traveled to a deserted patch of real estate, devoid of people or anything to eat.
And I certainly never skipped a meal in order to prepare. I just drank more coffee.
That's what Jesus did, driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, alone, and choosing not to eat whatever was available. He stayed there for forty days.
I've heard that 40 days is the limit people can go without eating. The first season of Survivor, they showcased the physical trauma the contestants endured. The effects of starvation, as I remember, were hair falling out, stomach bugs, difficulty with the bathroom.
That is the kind of preparation Jesus chose for His test. I've also heard that fasting focuses the mind. After forty days, I would probably be delirious.
If that is the kind of preparation Jesus endured for His tests, what does God expect of us?
Perhaps it's just this: He puts us in a position of weakness, for when we weak, then we are strong. The weaker the vessel, the more God shines.
So when you feel like trials hit you when you're at your lowest point--you're in good company.
P.S. If you'd like to read a short story about the Temptation, check out "The Ultimate Survivor" at ww.heartlight.org/articles/200202/20020202_survivor.html