May 16, 2016

The Way Out | Manna for your Soul

Recently I lost my way within a multi-level parking lot. Twice. 
First, I couldn't find my car and when I did, couldn't find my way out of the massive labyrinth. After a futile search for an exit, I came close to panicking until a friendly parking lot attendant guided me out.

Life is a lot like this. 
It is really easy to get lost amidst the lawlessness, chaos, and busyness of our times. It's easy to fall into temptations and thanks to our frailties, there are many who choose the status quo than the right way out. 

It's night-time and you are in a hurry and you see empty roads and you want to jump the red light at the intersection. Do you stop for the lights to turn green or do you jump the red lights? While I've always waited for the lights to turn green, there were times when I felt I was being sucked into temptations. My mind tells me 'Go ahead, there aren't any cops around and no one's watching you'. I've seen many people proceed but there are people who watch me stop and choose to wait. 

Ofcourse, there are bigger temptations in life and falling into one can test your faith, and many people don't want to pick themselves up. It's far easier to go where the wind takes us and assume that God has forsaken/forgotten/given up on us. But it is equally easy to inspire other people to follow your good example(s). 
When good things happen, it's because of God's favor. However, when we lose our way in life, it feels like God has gone for fishing. 

In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Paul reminds us that God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape. 

Everytime, I've had a dilemma in my life, I've asked God in prayer to sort it. In the beginning, I would ask Him what I wanted Him to do, but then I ended up getting even more muddled. Now, I only ask His will in my life. 
I know I can't see far ahead to understand how the situation can be fixed, but I now know He will. I know He isn't taking a break and hasn't abandoned me. Rather He is untying the knots I made just so that I can find a way to endure and survive it. Sometimes, there are just too many knots to untie!
He isn't waiting to punish me because He knows how stubborn I am. And like a patient parent, He never tires. He has allowed me to repeat my mistakes as many times as I needed before I finally learned from it. 

Today, you may think you are stuck or that you deserve to be stuck. You may think you don't have the inner strength to pick yourself up. Maybe it's a job that isn't taking you anywhere or a financial tight spot. Then maybe, it could be something in the past. 
Whatever it is, here's the truth - You don't deserve to be stuck and if only you calm your unsettled mind and ask yourself, you'll have the answer you seek. Because no matter how impossibly tough your situation is, God has already built in that strength and grace you need to get yourself out.
How do I know? 
Because if He could create someone like you and me - who according to the Psalmist, was fearfully and wonderfully made - then everything else is a walk in the park for Him. To me, those words are all that we ever need to feel reassured that we are not an accident but a very carefully planned creation. One that was built with everything we need for everything we might face.
The instructions are simple: Resist temptation at all costs, but if you did yield to it. Fret not and trust in God and yourself, for He knows exactly what you're going through and has just the perfect exit strategy for your worries!

In closing, I'm reminded of a story a pastor once told at a sermon.
One day as I was walking in my garden, I saw a beetle on the ground. It somehow landed on its back and was struggling to right itself. Its tiny legs were scrambling for solid ground, clawing at the air and as I stood there for a few seconds watching it, I realized it was tiring. Then I bent down and flipped it over and the beetle scurried away like nothing had ever happened. 
Surely, you and I are a heck of a lot more valuable to God than a beetle. 
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