This morning, I was reading in 1 Corinthians and slowed down in chapter 10 as my brain kicked in. It's always good to read the Bible and use your brain at the same time! Lol. I stopped to meditate on verses 12 and 13. Paul is talking about temptation. While I cannot and will not say that caregiving is a temptation, I think we can acknowledge that it does present a whole new level to be tempted on.
In verse 13, Paul is trying to encourage the new believers by explaining that everyone is tempted. He's also alluding to the fact that there are no new temptations - we are still dealing with the temptations that existed from the time God said, Let there be light. Of course, our temptations vary with respect to what the enemy of our souls knows to work for us as individuals. We each have areas of weakness that he's striving to exploit. The enemy likes to tempt us, draw us away, and then condemn us for falling or failing. It's really the same method he's used throughout the ages. Why? Because it still works on humans.
Paul then reminds the readers that God is faithful, even in our temptations, failures, victories, struggles, etc - God remains faithful. In verse 13, Paul says that God sets a limit on temptations and that, as believers, we'll never be tempted above what we can handle. I don't want to argue with the Bible, but sometimes it feels like it's more than we can bear. God always makes a way of escape so that we can bear temptation.
It's important to not allow the things we are tempted with to define us. The enemy throws all he's got at us sometimes. And as caregivers who run most of the time on overload - it doesn't take much to throw us off our game. Now, I wonder why this passage doesn't read that God rides in on His white horse and rescues us from temptations? Instead, He helps us bear it. My mind jumps to Isaiah 43, where God reminds us that He is with us in the fire, flood, and rivers - we will not be overcome. But we don't get to bypass the experiences. I also think about Peter and how Jesus told him that satan wanted to sift him like wheat. Jesus encouraged Pete by telling Peter that He had prayed for him - and He prayed that Peter's faith wouldn't fail. Why didn't he pray that Peter wouldn't have to go through the trial?
How do we know we have faith if it's never tried? How do we know if we truly trust God if it's never challenged? How do we know we can count on Him if we've never had to step out onto nothing? It's what we go through that helps us see how He rescues and keeps our souls. We are tempted to give up. Maybe we are tempted to look elsewhere for support or encouragement. Caregivers can be overwhelmed so much that the temptation to give in to weariness is real. But we have a God who is walking with us through our "beyond normal" circumstances. While He doesn't always make all the difficulties turn into sweet dreams, He will remain faithful and walk with us through them.
Nothing is off-limits to God. He never says our problems, situations, thoughts, or emotions are too deep for Him to carry us over. He won't say the fire is too hot, the circumstances are too complicated, or that we are not worth His effort. He continues to invest in us day after day.
Today, I will be thankful that my crazy thoughts don't deter God's grace, that is always working on my behalf. My thoughts will be on how He swims beside me in the flood to ensure I get to the other side with my faith intact. I'll remind myself that His grace is indeed enough for today and that I can trust Him with literally everything. Every thought. Every emotion. Every doubt. Every care. He'll take it all as He plans the escape route away from temptation. I can indeed trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?
Are you looking for a new devotional? I have written several devotionals, and I'm currently working on some new ones that should become available soon. As a caregiver, I found a lot of comfort and direction from Psalm 31. So, I wrote a devotional, 31 Days in Psalm 31 - what it's like to spend 31 days in a cave with God. It's available on my bookstore and on Amazon on Kindle or for print-on-demand.