My grandfather died when I was about six years old. I only have a couple memories of him and this one made a very deep impression on me. Mom Mom and Pop Pop lived in a house on a bit of a hill. Their house was so fun and they had a nice yard to play in. And I loved staying with them!
On one particular visit, Pop Pop had told me that I could play outside anywhere in the yard but, he said, ‘do NOT play inside the car’. He had left the car outside the garage a little ways down the hill. Well, you know, I investigated the flowers in the front yard and wandered through the garden in the back. I danced around on their back patio a little, but eventually… I got bored. Trying to think of something fun to do I considered my options. Pop Pop said I could play outside anywhere but inside the car…so what did i do? I got in the car.
Oh yeah, this is not going to end well. I don’t know how long I was in the car. I don’t think it was very long. But while I was standing up on the front seat I managed to knock the car out of gear…and it began to roll. Down the hill toward the street that ran in front of their house. The car was stopped before it could roll onto the street…by a telephone pole.
If ever I knew what the combination of fear and trembling felt like…it was at that moment. I remember overwhelming guilt that I had done what I was told NOT to do. I remember a very stern conversation and what kids from my generation would know as the punishment of the switch.
So when I read in Genesis 3 that Eve had all of that beautiful Garden of Eden to live in and could eat of ANY tree in that garden EXCEPT for the tree that is in the middle of the garden…although I get aggravated that we are in the world in the state we are in because she did it anyway…I remember that when I was about 4 or 5 I did exactly the same thing. I didn’t eat a forbidden fruit but I did exactly the one thing I was forbidden to do…get in the car. Both of those were forbidden to us…to protect us.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) says, “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.” Whatever the enemy is tempting us toward today, focus on this: God is faithful and He will make a way out. In the meantime, it is wise to focus on God’s faithfulness and choose to resist the temptation of the enemy. God is greater…but we must choose Him.