(Wednesday, November 22)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Mt 6:13)

When I was younger, I thought at times that perhaps our Lord did not exactly say the above-quoted words as they are passed down to us. But as I get older, I appreciate “temptation” a bit more, – because the word in Greek, “peirasmós,” means “trial” or “test.” And I trust God a bit more, *not* to put me to the test in ways that I can’t handle together with Him. Nonetheless, I really would prefer *not* to be tempted, because it would be reckless and probably a sign of pride, to want that. Our Lord Himself prayed in the garden, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Lk 22:42)

Thus He has also taught us to pray, – on the one hand, we ask, “lead us not into temptation,” – BUT carry us through it according to Your will; “deliver” us stronger-and-better from any sticky situation, any brush with “the evil one,” that we may emerge from it as You intend, and as did You from the Tomb.

So, the good thing about “temptations,” I’m thinking this morning, my co-strugglers, is that they are a growth-opportunity. I mean, growth in faith or trust in God, and in His divine plan and purpose for each of us, as manifested in each of our vocations. God dignifies me with certain responsibilities, which involve both their easy and difficult parts. He does not insulate me from the difficult parts, that I be rendered more capable, also more compassionate to others in their difficulties. Like any wise parent, God does not entirely insulate from temptation even the Garden of Eden, into which an evil-minded serpent was able to creep in. Our Father in heaven! Let me not hinder my own growth today, nor interfere with the growth of others, as I place my trust in You. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, and not ours. Amen!