Sometimes life hits us with unexpected challenges and surprises. Sometimes we see the challenges and obstacles and we are still overtaken by them. This past Monday morning I was out for my early walk. I was amazed at how much snow remained and that it was so very cold. I cannot remember a Halloween with a snow covering. After I had walked for a while I found myself approaching a patch of sidewalk that I could see was quite icy. Well, I took the normal precautions of slowing down and being extra careful, but guess what? I slipped and fell anyway. I guess you can say I had my 1st winter fall in the fall. There are things that overtake us because we don’t know what is coming and there are other things that overtake us because we are somewhere we shouldn’t be or doing something we shouldn’t be doing.
This past Saturday is one of those examples of something we didn’t know was coming. Saturday morning I was out visiting with one of our families and the rain had changed to snow. I boldly stated that it wasn’t going to amount to anything. I had seen the weather forecast; they were just calling for a dusting. October snowfalls never amount to anything anyway. Well it was a dusting that left thousands of people without power (even as of this posting). No one was calling for that amount of snow in Central Jersey. From my perspective Saturday’s unexpected storm did way more damage than Irene, which our state was completely prepared for. Also on Sunday I heard of another unexpected tragedy. Sunday evening Pastor Kedrick Brown (our missionary speaker that morning) called with a prayer request. One of the deacons in his church was involved in a tragic car accident over the weekend and two of his family members were killed. The deacon himself was still in critical condition as of Sunday night. Please pray for the Kpou family, as they need God’s touch and healings. Things do at times overtake us suddenly and unexpectedly and sometimes they change the whole course and direction of our lives.
On the other hand there are those things that we could avoid. Paul, in his 1st letter to the Corinthians, tells them in the 10th chapter, “No temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man, and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it”, (v.13 NASB). Like I didn’t have to walk over the sidewalk covered with ice, I could have just walked around on the street. Many are struggling these days with various addictions. A major addiction among men is internet pornography. But according to this verse God has already made a way of escape or deliverance. We need to know that God has not left us to our own ways and means. He has made a way of escape and that way usually involves other people. With the cocooning going on in our culture many want to just stay inside themselves. But God is at work in and through His people. Getting delivered from any addiction is going to certainly involve making yourself accountable to least one other person and pursuing God for every avenue of escape. May God help all of us to confront, admonish and encourage those that are being tempted down a destructive pathway. Don’t go over that icy path, you can still slip even if you think you’re being cautious.
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo