Thursday, November 15, 2012

Run Awaaay!!

God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. -1 Corinthians 10:13b

I broke my glasses a few days ago. I had just poured my coffee and sat down to read. I began to clean the gunk that accumulates on the lenses and the frame came apart in my hands, depositing a lens in my lap.

You may have noticed that you reach a certain age when you are effectively blind without glasses. Everything is at least a little blurry. Reading? Fuggedaboudit. I have reached and passed that age.

I think it says a lot about a person's level of faith how they deal with life's frustrations. It takes a certain level of Christian maturity to remember Paul's instruction to "give thanks in all circumstances (this is God's will for you -1 Thessalonians 5:18)."

I wish I could report that I stood strong in the face of temptation. I covet your prayers.

So the question arises: what is this way of escape? I'm sure that all of you could offer various insights as to how you've overcome temptation.

Here is a thing. Could it be that with every temptation comes an opportunity to resist by praising God?

What if I had responded to my frustration in not being able to see by thanking the Lord for his wonderful provision of eyeglasses. It was a probable infidel, Ben Franklin, who invented bifocals. How marvelous is God's providence in the ordering of all things for our good and His glory!!

Perhaps I should have praised Him for the invention of Scotch tape (the ultimate solution to my problem).

I might have been thankful for the reminder of how much we (I) depend on Him for ALL things.

I certainly did thank God as the tape gave way in the rain Sunday night and the lens disappeared in the glare of the lights on the wet concrete. For standing behind me was a brother in Christ who spotted the lens lying on the bottom step outside the church.

If this computer locked up , what would I be able to praise God for?

If the Mercury (our main mode of transportation) were to give up the ghost suddenly, would I be able to find cause for praise?

In both of his letters to Timothy, Paul warns his young friend to flee from various temptations.

Sometimes, we are caught flatfooted by life's curveballs. If gratitude is not a default setting in my thinking, I may find myself in trouble again.

Lord, help me find the door and help me remember to thank You on the way out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall Down, Go Boom!

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. -1 Corinthians 10:12

So I had a pretty nasty fall this weekend. I not only had my dignity wounded or merely scraped my knees, but banged my forehead on the hard earth of reality and bloodied the nose of my pride and complacency.

No need to go into the sordid details. Why give the devil any glory?

Is it just me? Do any of you receive these lessons in humility that you certainly did not ask God for? I was comforted (a little) to share this experience at our Sunday morning prayer session and to find that several of my friends had had issues that morning as well.

I wonder if Paul perhaps underwent similar episodes so that he was inspired to warn us to "take heed?"

At times like these I am re-reminded of the need for Spirit-driven sanctification. Forgive me for the sports analogy: It's like taking an especially hard lick on the football field. God the Spirit picks me up, dusts me off, slaps me on the butt and says "Get back in there, son!"

So if you see me, how about a few words of encouragement. You know, like: "Gimme some pushups while you're down there!"