As Americans, we don’t realize how rich we are. People living in many places of the world don’t have access to resources we take for granted. This is most prominent in my life right now in the area of food. And I don’t think it’s just me. A quick search on the internet for diets will yield dozens of options. Individuals and companies are making a lot of money from them. So, I know I’m not the only one struggling to reduce my calorie intake. Not having enough money to buy the abundance of food I store in my kitchen would seem to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep those extra pounds off this body. Why don’t I just stop buying food that I don’t need or isn’t healthy? That question led me to realize that living in excess is as challenging as living in poverty.
In my quest to know what Jesus would do in the circumstances of my life, He reminded me of the temptation He experienced in Matthew 4. At first glance, it doesn’t seem that He was experiencing excess. The wilderness was a barren place with no food. But He was the One who had created everything and could just speak a word to have any and all the food He wanted. That’s excess! Everywhere He went, at all times, He had access to more than whatever He needed. How was He able to restrain Himself? “He was God” is an unsatisfying Sunday School answer. I’m better helped by remembering what Paul wrote in II Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
Truly, “because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 2:18; 4:15-16
He doesn’t offer a standard for me attain, but grace to attain the standard that He lived in His humanity. Once again I’m faced with the tension of Divinity and humanity in this body, and am encouraged by the grace of His presence. May you find this encouragement in the circumstances of your life today. I’d like to know your thoughts. If you’re not comfortable commenting here, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org