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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wildflowers

Yesterday my youngest son and I were driving along a big highway. In the ditch area there were beautiful wildflowers - orangey-red and yellow. I told him a story I remember from my childhood.

My grandma and I were driving together somewhere, and I noticed beautiful flowers in the ditch. I asked her if I could get some, so she stopped and let me.  She lived in the country and we only had about 7 miles more to go, but by the time we got back to her house, I was sneezing and my eyes were watering so bad that I knew it was the beautiful wildflowers.  I tried to keep them a while, putting them in some water in a vase, but soon we both realized we would have to get rid of them.  How sad that something so beautiful could cause such a big problem for me!

Back to yesterday....

It occurred to me that sin is much like those beautiful wildflowers.  So many thing are tempting because they look beautiful and appealing to us, yet when we get closer to it, they cause us big problems.

We are tempted by things that appeal to our sinful nature and we each are made uniquely different by God.  Something that looks beautiful and appealing to me, might not be to you. Something that looks beautiful and appealing to you, might not be to me.  We all have weaknesses that make us unique.

As Christians, we have a power within us to resist the temptations that come into our lives.  The Holy Spirit will help us in our weaknesses if we allow that power to reign and use it to grow.  The "beauty" and allure of those wildflowers of sin will always be there, but as we resist and turn away from them, those temptations will become less frequent.  They will become less beautiful and alluring to us, as well.  Instead of stopping and getting out to pick the wildflowers, we will just admire them from afar and remember the trouble they caused when they were brought into life.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15

(Note: I'm sure I've said it before and have thought of it in this way: that Satan is the one tempting us.  And perhaps he is in many cases (read Acts 5 about how Satan influenced Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, but the scripture above clearly says that it is often our own evil desires that cause our temptations.  We have to recognize our responsibility to giving in to temptation and not make the blame always go to another source.)  

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
 
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