“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
My favorite holiday growing up had to be Christmas. What’s not to like? School was always out, there was lots of candy and baked goods lying around, and let’s not forget about the presents! And even though we were a family of eight and my parents didn’t have much money, they always made sure we had a lot of presents to open even if they we’re very impressive or extravagant. But out of all of the presents, they tried really hard to give each of us one present we really wanted. The hardest part for me was my curiosity; which present on my list did they actually get me? Most years I would try and guess by the size of the box. A couple of times I would pick up the presents when they weren’t looking and feel their weight and how they shifted in the packaging.
What do you think the purpose of gift wrapping is for? The surprise? Certainly. But when your parents wrap presents a full week ahead of Christmas morning, the wrapping serves as a moderate security measure; no peeking! Gift wrap, to kids from parents, is a kindness to preserve the surprise of the gift and provide a barrier to ruining the gift giving tradition. But I can remember one particular Christmas when I was extraordinarily bold; I pried open one of the taped flaps on the end of a present with my name on it. I could see the box’s labeling and knew just what toy they bought me a full week ahead of Christmas; an Evel Knieval Stunt Cycle. I felt so guilty that day and the next seven days. I felt even guiltier opening that present and having to act like I was surprised.
My parents gave me a way of escape from the temptation; wrapping paper, tape, and a no shaking rule. But that one year, I chose not to take that escape and ate of the forbidden fruit from my own Garden of Eden tree. In the past 45 days, God has been faithful in your life to give you ways of escaping temptation, ways that you could stay on a path of faithfulness. Knowing you’re not perfect, it’s very possible you broke your fast early, lost your temper, failed to make time for devotions, or kept from giving from your first fruits of your labor. The good news is that you’re forgiven when you confess it. The other good news is God is still faithful. Remind yourself today of all the ways He’s been faithful the past 45 days. If you have trouble thinking of something, you might just ponder the events surrounding my new favorite holiday: Easter. God was faithful to save us through His Son and He’s guaranteed to be faithful in the next 45 days; why not choose to be faithful in return?
Questions to ponder
What is your favorite holiday and what’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
What is one way you’ve failed to be faithful over the past 45 days that might be weighing on you? Be honest.
What is one big way that God has demonstrated His faithfulness over the past 45 days? Testify to that right now!