Scouting The Wilderness

By in Devotions

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5

Insight

For seven years now, my daughter has been a member of a certain girls’ organization that focuses on leadership skills, camping and selling cookies. I was all in at first. I mean, she looked so cute in that brown vest covered in colorful patches.

Lately I’m less enchanted. In fact I have gone from hinting Lucy may have outgrown this stuff to outright begging her to quit. I know that sounds horrible. But no one talks about how much is required from the moms. I’m not even the leader, but now the massive middle-school award project— which absolutely nobody warned me about — is requiring me to step far out of my comfort zone.

In the “Wilderness” series, Mike Ashcraft is teaching us about temptation. One temptation for me, in this particular scenario, is to quit. Maybe not literally, but to withdraw all my effort in helping my daughter achieve this award. Another temptation is the opposite: tackle all the work myself and not rely on other moms or ask Lucy to do her part. A third temptation is to whine about the project incessantly.

I’m tempted to quit because I’m afraid the project will end in disaster, so best to get out now. I’m tempted to “do it all” because I’m a control freak and that way I don’t have to rely on unreliable people. I’m tempted to whine to get attention.

Mike says this about temptation: It will be over, and it will matter. This week I got a glimpse of both realities.

It will be over: We just found out that the last of the $1,100 of in-kind donations we need to build our project is being covered — and by someone quite unexpected. So the financial part is over, praise God!

It will matter: If I had convinced Lucy to quit before we finished this project, she would have learned that it’s okay to bail out on commitments. Instead we both learned that persistence with requesting donations pays off, that she can make a presentation to a complete stranger, and thank-you notes are vital. We both see how character-building really does lead to hope, because now that the materials are secured, we are hopeful about the next phase of the project.

And even if it doesn’t go as planned, we will have gone through it together. With God’s sometimes-surprising, always-supernatural help.

Reflection

  • What temptation are you facing today?
  • If you indulge, who will you become?
  • If you resist, who will you become?

Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven, I have been gritting my teeth through these last few weeks, trusting You barely enough to hang in there. You don’t want us to quit before the miracle happens! Help us remember that resisting temptation shapes our character into the person You designed us to become. Amen.

PC3 writer Katy Davis wrote today’s devotional.