Maybe I was looking for a reason to laugh, Lord knows I probably needed it, but this morning as I was talking with my son on the phone I opened my refrigerator door to take out the eggs so I could make some breakfast for myself, I broke up, just laughing out loud! Of course my son not being able to see me and certainly not understanding what I was saying while laughing, was totally confused; I think he was about to dial 911 thinking I was having some type of spasm!
Every day we make decisions that affect our whole life, you may not realize it but I think of seeing a large design of dominoes all standing like little soldiers in a row until the first one in the row falls over and then the little tiles tumble one at a time until they are all laying prone with the little white dots facing the ceiling. Can you think of an action that has caused a string of reactions? Yeah and so can I. Sometimes it is just a word that can change the course of everything and try as you might you can never take it back. We might try to get rid of the garbage from our lives and we think it is safely disposed of and (as an old friend of mine used to say) “Up pops the devil!” It’s seems the temptation hunts you down and runs you over and when you think you have it conquered there is always a willing “friend” to help you find your way back into it! In my world that would amount to being so good and strict on a diet and my kids bringing in a chocolate cheesecake or pistachio almond fudge ice cream for me!
There is a scripture that applies (you knew there had to be, right?) Hebrews 12:14-17 “Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.”
I’m thinking of a story daddy used to tell on himself; when he was just a little chap there was a small Garden snake out in the sandy lane where he was playing. His mother had told him to get rid of the snake so he tried to bury it, every time he covered it with sand in an effort to bury the harmless snake the other end of it would put out on the other side, moral of the story is you can’t bury the snake unless you kill it first, harsh I know but true.
I will give you one other scripture to help, it is 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” The NKJ version words that last phrase this way, “who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
So what was so funny and how does it apply?
Last Sunday I made a broccoli casserole and also a cornbread and squash casserole. Between my sister and I we make so much food that we have a lot of leftovers, which are normally all gone by Tuesday evening, but somehow this week that didn’t happen!
Yesterday I looked in the refrigerator and saw I needed to clean out the old food to make way for groceries so I set the casserole dish with the left over broccoli casserole in it out on the cabinet to be dealt with when I finished doing some other chores. I came back into the kitchen before long, the dish was gone but when I opened the fridge door there it was back on the shelf. I didn’t think much about it and just set it out again but again it got put back in its place in the fridge. Last night I set it out again and again was deterred in disposing of it in a way that wouldn’t attract all the possums, raccoons and possible coyote that my yard and porch attract. I forgot about it in getting my mother ready for bed and sinking into my own recliner and falling directly and soundly asleep.
Fast-forward to this morning and see me talking on the phone to my son and opening the refrigerator door for my eggs and when I opened that door there it was the BROCCOLI CASSEROLE back in the refrigerator! I thought of all the times that something gets thrown away that I meant to keep and here this was something I was trying to get rid of that someone was taking the time to put back in the fridge thinking it was a mistake that it was sitting out!
Just seemed like that’s the way life is, I think the Apostle Paul said it best Romans 7:15-20
“I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.”
Next time just go ahead and throw the garbage out instead of leaving it on the cabinet, which is an open invitation to just put it, right back in the fridge!