Have you ever taken a cruise? We did and oh, what a vacation! We flew to Vancouver and set sail on a chilly Saturday afternoon. I can't adequately describe the scenery, to say the least it was all spectacular. We saw seals and salmon. We spotted grizzly bears and cubs. Hundreds of bald eagles, many clasping dinner in their talons, soared over our heads. We hiked up trails that were once the highways of gold miners. We rafted down beautiful mountain rivers once canoed by natives. We walked out on glaciers, watching the "white thunder" fall to the sea. The complete range of weather kept us guessing as to what to dress ourselves in each morning. But the absolute artistry by our God more than offset any fashion shortcomings. It was a marvelous week!
But do you know how every cruise begins? If you have been on one, you already know what I was soon to discover. The first hour that you are on the boat the near-deafening blaring of the ship's horn booms over the loudspeaker and the PA system announces that every passenger must proceed to your assigned area for a mandatory drill. No getting out of it. Each room is checked by the stewards as passengers are hurried to the largest dining hall. We hurried too. If you know me, you know I was paying attention! Ready to quiz my hubby and children afterwards.The captain and other staff have you practice putting on a life jacket. They explain how the life boats work and how cold the water is(in Alaska that equals VERY COLD). They finish by pointing out all the emergency escape routes. I'm happy to say that our biggest emergency on the entire trip was discovering our camera battery was not fully charged for another full day of picture snapping!
This memory of the drill does remind me of something God says in His word. He promises in 1st Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
Sometimes God makes the "way out" very obvious for us to see as my captain did on the ship. Sometimes we must search for the "way out" that He provides. Either way, we know that we can take comfort that He is "faithful". Not some of the time. Not most of the time. He is "faithful" all of the time. Always.
As we approach this holiday, and a grand feast at the dining room table, we need to remember that. We can push away from the table with our pants still buttoned. We can pass up a second or third helping of our favorite food. We can take an extra jog around the block. We don't have to be over-full. We can just be thankful!
Thank you Lord that you already see the temptations that await me this week. Thank you that they are not uncommon. Thank you for reminding me that they are not too much to bear. And thank you that when they are, when my power and might are too weak, that You by YOUR SPIRIT, will provide that emergency escape route so I can stand up under it!