St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

He’s irrelevant

The Way Out for 2016

 

Most people enjoy escaping.

 

What are your preferred escapes? Maybe a sunny vacation, or a relaxing drink before supper, or a movie. But what if your escape becomes too much drinking, or lashing out at someone, or having an affair? Or some other escape that feels good at first, but brings destruction?

 

Sometimes, it is unclear what we should escape and what we should endure. What did Jesus do? In one place it is written, “Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.” (Luke 4:31.) And in another, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42).

 

We have heard the saying that God never gives us more than we can bear. Do you believe that? Many people might say that they have been pushed beyond their strength. This saying comes from St. Paul (NRSV 1 Corinthians 10:13):  “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength…”. The next part of the verse is rarely quoted, yet vital: “…but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”

 

God is faithful. God is committed, close, trustworthy, dependable, staunch. God will provide the way out. Sounds like escape. Sounds good!  But how can this really mean escape, when the rest of the verse says God will provide a way out so we can endure it?

 

In the new year, 2016, how can you both endure and escape, finding the way out that God wants for you? Here are some steps that might help:

 

  1. Read the verse again slowly, in prayer, letting God’s Word sink deeply into your soul.

 

“God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”

 

  1. Recall a past personal crisis in which you recognized God’s faithfulness. What did you discover about God then, for which you might offer praise now?
  2. Consider testing not as a school quiz, but more as a kind of purification happening in a crucible: when fire comes, whatever is not gold melts and is gone, leaving pure gold.  When it comes to you and your life in 2016, what bad things might God be wanting melted away?  What good things might God be setting free?
  3. As you are being “tested” in the new year, which unhealthy escapes might you be tempted to take? Which healthy escapes might help you to endure while God’s good purpose is being accomplished in you?
  4. Each day for a little while, pray Psalm 143 in its entirety. “Show me the way I must take for You to relieve my heart...”(Ps 143:8)

And let the Holy Spirit surprise you . . . 

By Nancy Marrocco R.P. (Registered Psychotherapist),

Parishioner, St. Michael’s Catholic Church