Whenever I am working on a project that needs painting or has a saw involved my “workspace” is the porte-cochere between my house and our guest house. The guest house was a garage in it’s past life, before we bought our house and turned it into a retreat for company. That means we don’t have a garage. A lovely covered drive through makes due for our impromptu workshop. Working in the shade of this space, enjoying the breeze that blows through, listening to music while my kids ride bikes around me is where you can find me most weekend afternoons. A while back, while I was busy sanding on something, I saw my little friend here tucked tightly behind a large bank of shelves we have that hold all our outdoor junk. He has been on my mind lately. I photographed this guy because he immediately brought to mind the well known phrase between a rock and a hard place.
You know, that time when you are in a situation and it seems there is no way out, or at least no GOOD way out. Most of the time we get our self into that spot. Often the rock and hard places slowly creep closer and closer together till it’s hard to breathe. Like debt or an overcommitted schedule that is sucking you dry. Sometimes these tight places just pop up. A friend invites you somewhere you don’t want to go, so you make up a story about why you can’t. It’s just a little white lie told so you don’t hurt her feelings. That’s ok right?
Over and over again we wind up stuck in a squeeze, almost finding comfort and safety there, like my little lizard friend. We set ourselves up to repeatedly make bad choice, lie or rationalize our way through a situation. This space is just a form of temptation teasing us and drawing us away from God little by little.
Personally, I can’t stand hurting someone’s feelings, or the weight of letting them down. It’s the people pleaser in me, wanting everyone to like me and be my friend. The temptation to say things in an effort to avoid hurt feelings and saying yes when I should say no are just a few of the hard spots I often wedge myself.
I came across 1 Corinthians 10:13b years ago, it says But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. To walk knowing we all have temptations, but we all have a way past them is so reassuring to me. Since seeing this truth written in the word, it has given me a new filter for my choices. I now look at a situation and know there is a way through it that is honoring and right. It causes me to stop and examine the event at hand like a detective, searching for clues to a way out. I love the result of His way out…we can stand up under our temptations. There is no rock so heavy that it will way us down, as long as we search for Christ’s path from under it. Now, that way isn’t always fun, easy or comfortable…but the reward of walking with a choice pleasing to God is.
When I start to see a tight spot surfacing I know I have a choice. Someone asks me to do something I don’t want to? I can simply say no, thank you. No explanation necessary. No story that needs elaborating or embellishing. This might sounds simple, but it can be really hard. At least for me. No is really a pretty painless word if you can just get used to it and when it is HIS answer. What about when I am asked to volunteer or work on a project? If I were to run commitments requiring my time through prayer BEFORE blurting out yes, then the tight spot would be a non issue. When my desire to please Christ supersedes my desire to please people then the temptation is put to rest and that rock and hard place loose their grip altogether.
I hope this verse helps you look at your temptations differently. I hope that it gives you confidence to stand up under the weight that sits squarely on top of you. It promises so much freedom. To stop walking as if you are wading through glue, always stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. We always have a choice, it just depends on who we want to please as to which path we chose. Christ always wants us to choose him and his way.
Oh…and my little lizard guy, he crept out of his tight spot. It was good for him. It can be for you too.
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