I wonder sometimes when reading the bible what my greatest temptation is. Because once I figure that out, I can face it. I can look that temptation straight in the face and say “No. I want God more.” But until I truly know what my greatest temptation is, I will continue to be tempted.
1 Peter 5:10-11 says ‘In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.All power to him forever! Amen.’
I am going to try to be honest.
This past month has not been my favorite. I’ve been struggling. A month ago today my Pastor passed away. He was my pastor for my whole life. Everything I knew about church and God came from John.
When he went home to be with God, I was out celebrating my birthday. One month ago today I turned 26, and John left. I usually pride myself a bit by being able to go with the punches. But this blow kept hitting. New Beginnings was my home. And even though I am working at a different and incredible church, New Beginnings was still home. When John passed it felt like I was homeless. The pastor I knew and loved and turned to was gone, and I had no real pastors at this new church because I was still new and no one knew me.
Still worse was that I felt completely alone in this. I thought that I would love living alone. Finally I would be able to sing musicals at the top of my lungs and cook in my underwear and no one could judge me! It was my place. I didn’t realize that not having company was really effecting me until one month ago today.
I was busy, I had people around me. But I was lonely. I did the inner city missions that I loved, but I would leave empty. It wasn't until recently that I recognized that I felt alone and separated even from God. I don't think I had ever felt more alone. It was debilitating. I had things to do, but I didn't want to do any of them.
Then something incredible happened outside my area. My favorite missional organization Rescue1 finally got the home that they had been praying for. It would be the first home for rescued children out of human trafficking in the country! I was filled with joy! I can remember walking the property in Nashville and praying
for the ministry that God was going to do there.
My heart was instantly in Nashville. I wanted to be there! I needed to be there. God was obviously there, and it didn’t seem like he was here; so if I wanted God, I should go to Nashville. It made sense. My lease is up in the end of October. I couldn’t find any places to live in the intercity I was working in, so God was calling me to move to Nashville. It made sense. Even a good friend of mine texted me saying she was looking for a roommate IN NASHVILLE!
If you’re not hearing “Move to Nashville” then you’re reading this all wrong.
But I discovered my temptation.
My apartment was my first place all to my own so I got to decorate it however I wanted. It is covered in Maps and Flags of different countries and globes and suitcases.
You don’t have to look very hard at my place to see that I yearn to travel. My heart craves to be in different countries. I am passionate about learning different cultures and history.
And in that may lie my greatest temptation. To Go. To run. To leave. The second things seem to get a little difficult, Im out.
So is there blessing in staying? Im not sure. God says this:
James 1:12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.