“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” — 1 Corinthians 10:11-13
His Stabilizing Influence
The “gymnasium” at the rural school I attended was nothing more than an outdoor playground that we shared with mosquitoes, gophers and the occasional garter snake. Physical education was not on the curriculum. A new teacher, determined to correct this oversight, decided to upgrade us in the finer points of calisthenics. Improving our balance was an integral part of her instruction, and proof that we had met her expectations was the ability to stand on our heads.
We tried, we really did, only to topple over, again and again. And then one day — success! My cousin not only stood on his head, he sustained the position for several minutes while the teacher pointed him out to us as a good example. Only later did he admit that he had his head partway stuck in a gopher hole!
If truth be known, apart from the stabilizing influence of God, most of us fall short again and again while trying to attain a balanced lifestyle. Exercising Christian principles, upholding a consistent work ethic and nurturing healthy relationships take practice. Even then, success is about as precarious as standing upside down in a gopher hole — nothing for which we can take credit.
As 1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” God is the one who keeps us upright.
— Alma Barkman
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