When life seems too frustrating, I like to dream about escaping to a beach with the soft sound of waves contiually rolling over sand, sitting in the shade under an impossibly blue sky, the occasional sounds of seagulls squawking and other people’s laughter nearby. Aaahh! So soothing. The ocean is definitely a very happy place for me.
But too soon I have to wake up from my daydream to live out my mid-western, landlocked life with all its responsibilities and chores. I look around and see a house that needs to be cleaned, projects waiting to be started and many more left half-done. I think about the day ahead and begin to tense up as I see an endless to-do list and far too many choices to navigate. On top of it all, I have put myself on a “healthy eating plan” (not a diet–never even say that despicable word to me). By choosing to eat healthier and move more, I have confronted the temptations of junk food, mindless overeating, and couch potato slothfulness. Before this choice, I was always tempted, but I rarely allowed myself to think about those temptations before giving in to them. Now, I am trying and often succeeding in confronting those temptations as they occur. Much more often than before, I now make a healthier choice and avoid the unhealthy temptation.
A huge part of why I have been able to more successfully manuever through these temptations this time around (attempt # 10,469), is the word of God, living and powerful as a two-edged sword. The verse that I am trying to live out is this: (from The Passion Translation)
“We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust Him more, for along with every trial God has provided a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
I’d still love to escape to the beach this winter, but for now I am happy to escape the temptations of potato chips and ice cream so that I’ll get the far better reward of trusting God more in a life of victory. No more defeat from giving in to temptations I’m not willing to face.
More next week on how God sends His angels to help us escape from temptations. Love to all who read this.
Amen and amen.