Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Pickle Predicament

          Getting in a pickle in baseball happens when a runner gets stuck between two bases. The player made it to one base and tried to advance to the next base, but someone threw the ball to that base, before he could make it safely. So, the runner has to make the decision to try to run back to the previous base, but, since the other team can throw a ball faster than a player can run, now the ball is at the original base. There is nothing that the runner can do, but run back and forth, as the opposing team plays a game of Monkey in the Middle, over the runner’s head. All the while the opposing team is taking a step closer toward the runner, until finally, the opposing team is so close they can tag the runner out with the ball. Sometimes, usually in Little League, the opposing team will make a wild throw, or their teammate will fail to catch the ball and as the ball whizzes by the teammate, the runner can advance safely to one base or the other.

In life, we call this situation, being caught between a rock and a hard place. Both ways we could turn in a situation are dreadful options.
The Bible says when we are tempted God always provides a way out for us. We sometimes mistake that verse to say: ‘God does not give us more than we can handle.’ That is not true.
Life is hard. There are many things we cannot handle on our own. That is why we need God. If we never had more than we could handle, we would not need God.
On our own, we cannot handle our child dying, our spouse leaving us, or losing our house. We need God in those situations.
A pickle, however, is when we have a choice to make, and many of life’s choices are hard.
--To move an ailing parent into a nursing home, or care for them full time in your home?
--To turn your teen’s friend in to the authorities when you find out they have drugs, knowing your teen will be mad and won’t trust you again?
--To continue to be miserable in your marriage, or go to marriage counseling?
--To take a new job that offers more money, but requires more out of town travel?
--If we are a pet owner, do we pay $2000 for a pet surgery or have our beloved companion put out of their misery?
Life is full of difficult decisions. What should we do when we find ourselves in a pickle between two tough decisions?
1.     Pray. When life is too difficult God wants us to go to Him. The Bible says if we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us.
2.     Ask yourself, which decision most lines up with God’s Word? That is our playbook for life. It has all the answers. The question of whether or not we should spend hours talking to an old flame on Facebook, may not directly be in the Bible, but the concept of being faithful to our spouse definitely is.
3.     Seek wise counsel.  Talk to people who have a strong and consistent walk with God. Ask someone who knows the Bible and can point you to Biblical truth.                                                
   Being in a pickle is never easy, not on the baseball field, or in life. Tough decisions are, well, tough to make.
Thankfully, when we find ourselves in a real pickle, we know who we can turn to.  Here’s to wishing you a successful run in your next pickle. You know the heavenly crowd will cheer loudly for you when you land on the base safely.

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