The Way Out for 2016
Most people enjoy
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
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
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:
- 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.”
- 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?
- 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
- 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?
- 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