Well, it’s been a while since I wrote anything here – not since I wrote anything, as I’ve been journaling recently in a general ponderings sort of way, but certainly a while since I felt I had anything to share on here!
I’ve been turning over in my mind the following verse recently:
The temptations (or trials) in your life are no different to what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation (or trial) to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so you can endure. 1 Cor. 10:13
From running a home and parenting two energetic young children to coping with bereavement to reconciling a long time of feeling all sorts of not-good-things, it has always seemed to me that my abilities to do things such as be organised, control my outward emotions and behaviour, to set aside my own feelings in order to get done what has to be done, were some of God’s ways of fulfilling His promises that I would always be equipped to deal with whatever came my way (others would probably say – rightly – they’re not always healthy ways of coping!). Yet in recent months, actually, those apparent assets became stifling, suffocating and trapping me in one way of reacting – a way which relied on MY ability to do something about a situation.
Simultaneously, and apparently without contradiction (!), I’ve also held on to the following verse:
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
Because, well, obviously, it’s always got to come back to Jesus, right? Always…once I’ve finished trying to organise, arrange, control or sort things in my own way (whilst thinking all the time that really my way was God’s way because He gave me those strategies in the first place… didn’t He?!)
Nuh-uh. (Or – insert buzzer sound of own choice to indicate WRONG ANSWER!)
Actually – the way out in 1 Cor 10:13 is Phil 4:13 – the way out He promises is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS Jesus first.
Perhaps it reads better as ‘through Christ giving me strength, I can do all things’.
This may seem pretty obvious – but you know what? Sometimes apparent truths can seem so clear and common sense when read, but living them? That’s more difficult. Because it requires those truths to be the first thought before any other course of action. It requires those truths to be buried deep in our hearts so that when our thoughts and minds try to take over the steering wheel and we’re heading for a crash, those truths can act almost as a sort of ABS system to safeguard and protect us.
2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 says:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Not just those we know are not in line with God’s word, but even those we think are. (I suspect little decisions like tea or coffee, cake or a biscuit are OK to make without first praying! Unless you live in Chorley, in which case it’s not a decision – it’s tea. With a biscuit. In the afternoon, cake and coffee may be permissible 🙂 )
And that can be a little bit scary. It means leaning not only into the good things in life, but also leaning into the bad experiences too – and going there willingly because with Christ beside me, and with the weapons of prayer, the Word and worship, nothing can stand against me. It takes, in a word, TRUST.
I prayed to the Lord and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. Psalm 34: 4-5
He has got us safe. Secure. Forever. Loved.
Ramblings done for a while -well done if you read this far! (And if you did – and if you see me struggling in the future days, weeks and months – tell me to come read this again 🙂 )