“The temptations in your life
are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation
to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted,
he will show you a way out…”
I Corinthians 10:13 NLT
Perspective is often all truth needs to be understood.
Last night, in the last minutes of a good day, a few words were spoken. A reaction was misinterpreted. And in a moment an old feeling came to visit. It caught me off-guard, the last thing I expected, yet there I stood. Angry. I finished my routine and crawled silently into bed. He said, I’m sorry. He did the right thing, yet something in me held to that bitter taste in my mouth. I couldn’t quite let it go.
It’s interesting how tightly we hold to what hurts us. How we feel justified in our fear or anger or frustration, and so cling to it even as it drains life from us.
Then in the silence, a familiar verse came to mind, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Eph. 4:26-27) It rang through the silence, echoing back and forth, back and forth in my thoughts. And I whispered in my mind “Lord, I don’t want the sun to go down on my anger.” That’s all it took. A silent whisper. A desire. An opening, and Your Light burst through. Your Word separated the darkness and You gave me a way out as You asked one simple question:
In the light of eternity, is this anger worthy of your attention?
“In the light of eternity…?“
In the light of what it means to my relationship with You ? In light of Your love and faithfulness? Is this anger worthy? Does it deserve more adoration than You? When I’m standing before You at the end of time, do I want to be clinging to my anger? “Of course not!” In a split second my anger was in the Light and slid from my heart’s grasp. The bitterness left my mouth and the heaviness ran off my mind like rainwater off a leaf. My body relaxed and I took a deep breath.
Then for a moment the tempter reminded me that I was “justified” in my feelings. But again came the firm, gentle Voice: “In light of eternity, is it worthy of your attention?” And my spirit rose up, “No!” Only You, Lord. Only what is pure and kind and gracious. Only what is loving and wise. Only what will come through the refining flames and cause Your smile to shine upon me. Only what brings and gives Life. Only this is worthy of my attention.
- Not anger.
- Not fear.
- Not doubt.
- Not jealousy.
- Not anxiety or frustration.
- Not anything that separates me from You.
Have you ever noticed how something that seemed so important suddenly loses its power when put in the proper perspective?
- Relationships we cling to, even as they kill us.
- When truth breaks through we see what we never saw before.
- Feelings we believe are logical, even as we’ve forgotten the reasons why.
- When Grace steps in, truth overrides logic and we are free.
Are you holding to something that is stealing your joy? That simmers under the covers of justification. Look at it again. In the light of eternity, is it worthy of your attention?
Thank You, Father, for this way out. For this understanding and perspective. May it ever be before me. May I dwell always in Your presence.