March 4: The way out
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Lent is a season of stepping back from life, reevaluating. Holding on to what is right but letting go of our own misconceptions. How must the disciples have felt as the one they hoped would be their Savior was subject to death on the cross? In such a time, God called them to let go of their own ideas of a Savior and hold on to who Jesus truly was.
Paul proposes the same suggestion in Corinthians. He recognizes the struggles and disobedience of all peoples. Yet Paul uses what is not right as a way to instruct in the Truth. Paul calls us to let go of sins of the past and to instead hold onto God. He sees the unjust, unholy ways of humans, and gives the disconcerting news that we can fall. But then, and this is the real kicker, Paul says that God will never give us more than we are able to endure!
There is promise. We may feel overwhelmed that the list of sins against God seems to go on and on, but “God is faithful and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength!” Our Lord has provided us with a way out. There is no promise that it will be easy. The way out will probably not be how we might have envisioned it. But we must let go of our own plans to work it all out. We’re not the ones to provide the way out. God will provide the way out so that we may be able to endure what ever comes our way.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (NRSV)
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.
Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.’ We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.