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)
We have a cute little 10-month-old puppy. My son named her Jemma. She has that innocent look that says she can never do anything wrong. She likes going out to the deck where she plays and enjoys the sun or the snow, and we have been happy to leave her there alone since she has seemed to be behaving.
One day, a neighbor’s dog was out and barking about five houses down from our yard. And as I looked out my glass door to the deck, Jemma was gone! Panicking, I called everyone in the house for help. Beth ran out to the backyard while I drove out to look for the puppy in the neighborhood.
To my relief, Beth was able to find Jemma. She said Jemma looked lost as she found herself wandering far away from home and in an unfamiliar environment. When Beth called her name, the puppy was delighted to hear that familiar voice, and she ran back to her. She was happy when Beth brought her home. If she could talk, I think she would have said she wished she had not run away.
As I reflected on this episode, I realized that this tendency to run away is not just limited to puppies. We human beings are likewise tempted to go astray and outside of our boundaries. As the hymn says: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” Isn’t that a humble confession of who we really are? Jesus knows our weakness; therefore, he urged us to “pray that you will not fall into temptation” (Luke 22:40).
In this season of Lent, as we prepare our hearts for the holy week to come, let us remember to watch and pray.