Lead us not into temptation

When I was five years old, I went camping with my family and our cousins. We were close to a stream, so my uncle Fred placed a large stick on the bank with firm instructions not to cross it lest we fall in.

I was five, so I crossed the stick. And fell into the rushing water.

Obviously, I survived the incident, because my uncle was able to run down the valley and pull me out before I drowned.

I don’t have a clear memory of this myself, but it must have been devastating for all the adults. Surely they learned not to trust my good judgment at that age.

I was thinking about this incident recently when pondering our petition to God that He “lead us not into temptation.” I’ve found the phrase a bit unsettling sometimes, because it kind of implies that God … might?

What kind of loving God would lead us into sin if we didn’t ask Him not to?

But I’ve now realized that “not into” is the same thing as “away from.”

And, like that child, I’d like Him to lead me away from temptation. I certainly needed it then, and I need it even more now.

My loving God, I ask that You lead me away from temptation. Amen.

 

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