No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, 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. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
The first time I saw him was when I was dusting. I began to dust the new air purifier I’d been asked to review. How ironic, I thought, that an air purifier should require dusting.
Then I saw his little eyes peeking out from below a handle beside the control panel. He was a Florida anole, a tiny lizard so common here that we often find them in our home, where, for want of food, they eventually curl up and die – if my dogs don’t find them first.
So I immediately tried to grab him so I could shuttle him outside into the garden, where his bug buffet awaited. But the frightened lizard (because even I am huge to a lizard) leapt off the unit and hid under a cabinet. I hoped he would eventually find his way back outside.
But a week or so later, there he was again, back below the handle near the control panel. He looked so comfortable that I barely had the heart to disturb him. My son, a Florida-born lizard-catcher, tried to grab him out from his hiding place, only to prompt the little guy to run inside the unit.
I haven’t studied the inner workings of the air purifier yet, but I’m pretty sure it has moving parts and a fan mechanism. So I was then picturing a very unpleasant end to the lizard and a possible wrinkle with an expensive item I had been given to review.
Then yesterday he was there again – in his same place under the handle. I breathed a sigh of relief that he was still alive, and I realized I had to act quickly to get him to a safer place. Yet again, he jumped to the floor as I moved toward him, but this time he just stood there.
I grabbed a tall plastic cup and a paper towel from the kitchen and ran back to my room. With the paper towel behind him and the cup in front of him, I coaxed him into the cup, quickly covered it with the towel, and rushed the anole to a garden bed, where he could finally eat. My husband asked if the lizard was appreciative. I reported that he didn’t thank me.
We, my friends, are like that lizard.
How many times do we put ourselves in precarious situations where our spiritual, physical or emotional well-being is threatened? Yet instead of seeing the threat, we find comfort in the familiar. We find comfort where there is ultimately no comfort at all.
To the lizard, my air purifier seemed like a safe place. It was quiet. It was comfortable. Maybe he even appreciated the white noise. To him, his environment wasn’t the threat; I was. But it was I who wanted to protect him and deliver him from danger, though it could cost him momentary discomfort.
In what pit have you fallen? What dangers lurk in the familiar comforts with which you’ve surrounded yourself? Perhaps your eyes have been opened the reality of the pit around you, but you see no way out of it, so you have resignedly accepted your fate.
That is not what God has for you.
Cry out to the One from whom your help comes, and don’t be afraid to welcome the great hand that reaches down to redeem your life from that pit. Yes, it is a mighty hand, and it is one to be feared, but it is gentle, good, wise and gracious. And it is acting in the interest of your own good.
Trust, and do not fear.
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Psalm 103:1-5