(Evil thoughts come like birds flying over our heads. We cannot help that. But if we allow them to build nests on our heads, then we are responsible for them)
~ Martin Luther
Last night, this morning, pretty much every day, around North West Pennsylvania, I drove as my windshield wipers removed road scum, restoring my vision.
How many of us take for granted our windshield wipers? We would be wrecked alongside the road if it wasn’t for them! On sunny days I don’t give my windshield wipers a second thought, but when rain, sleet, snow, and road scum barrage my frontal glass barrier on my vehicle, I can’t help but be thankful.
Everyone, take a moment and thank God for the windshield wiper inventor! I bet he’s wealthy.
Well, I know right now you’re asking yourself, “what does this have to do with anything?” So, as I was watching my wipers do their job I thought how great it would be if we as humans were outfitted like our cars, with wipers!
Wipers, to wipe away the temptations we face everyday, just like we face lousy driving conditions daily round these here parts.
It’d be great, we could set the wipers on Hi speed when watching any TV, PG and up movie, or when around others who dress in ways to distract us from the roadway. Medium and slow for other temptations such as; chocolate chip cookies, extra pieces of pizza, cake, pie, etc., etc..
Then there is the intermittent setting, which we could set to remove any of those temptations that we all have. Our most annoying struggles that pop up at inconvenient times in our lives. Bad habits!
The Great thing about my car’s wipers is you set them and forget about it and just drive! Maybe make adjustments to deal with the changes in the amount of slop we were facing.
Yes, it could be raining cats and dogs, but our wipers just push it aside and out of view.
Alas, we are not equipped with temptation wipers, we still have to deal with them on a first come first serve basis! And if you’re like me, you know how it can be exhausting, trying to escape, ignore, or overcome our temptations.
“Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. … We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
What to do then, since we aren’t equipped with wipers? The reason temptation is so exhausting is because we try to suppress it. Temptation in and of itself is not a sin, the sin occurs when we give in. Even Christ was tempted.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:15-16
God doesn’t want us to suppress the temptations we face, he wants us to release them to Him.
Suppressing temptation is like trying to push a tennis ball under water with your hand. The whole time you are pushing it under the surface, you are aware of it, because you are trying to control it. However, no matter how hard you try, the ball will roll up around your hand and resurface right where it started from.
What God directs us to do is release the temptation to his care. Acknowledge and pray about it. Let Him take it from you. Christ, says, “my grace is sufficient for you.”
Don’t push the ball of temptation under the surface of the water. Push it aside, letting go and not trying to control it. Oh that ball will float back around, eventually, but push it aside again, and again. In the interim you will find peace from the tempter.
I guess you could say we do have wipers, they’re just manual, pushing the temptation aside to the one who can handle it.
Thought to ponder on your journey today: What temptation are you trying to suppress? Are you finding it hard to let go? Trust God’s grace and push it aside allowing Him to move it behind you!