(Just a little word of encouragement as you start your summer.)
I delivered a sermon recently and entitled it Afraid of the Wrong Things. The synopsis is this: too often when God gives us the opportunity to be part of a miracle, instead of stepping forward in faith we step back in fear. We focus on the impossibilities instead of the blessings that will come.
The points that came to me after prayer were really good. The message encouraged my heart!
And the best illustration of the sermon actually came during my morning walk.
I'm once again (for the hundredth time) determined to shape up. This time my motivation is all the wedding pictures we'll be taking in October! I do not want to look back on those and think, "Wow! I sure looked fluffy!"
So, the tennis shoes are dusted off and walking clothes sit handy in my closet.
I'm a boring walker. Amanda never really enjoyed walking with me because I take the exact same path every single time I walk. Down my driveway. Left at the first stop sign. Right at the next. Left into another development. Circle two cul-de-sacs. Back home. Every single time!
But what's boring to one walker is peaceful to another. I know the path. I know exactly how long it will take. I can just walk and think and pray to my heart's content.
Until this particular morning......
Deep in thought, I made the turn into the other housing development. I even picked up the pace a bit.
That's when I heard it. A low, menacing growl. The kind that means, "Imminent Danger Ahead!"
The growl turned to a loud vicious bark and suddenly, from my peripheral vision, I caught sight of a HUGE, horse of a dog! This dog was at least three feet tall; extremely unhappy; and charging full gallop in my direction! He had every intention of helping me remember to NEVER pass this way again.
My response? I just kept walking; didn't even waste time slowing my pace!
Because I've walked this way many times before. And while the dog isn't always outside as I pass his house, he's been out before and I know that between that dog and me is an all important.....fence!
He's big. He's scary. And yes, if he could get to me he would very likely harm me. But experience has taught me that he can't get to me! His bark may startle me - but he can't hurt me unless I step into his fenced enclosure.
His intention to hurt me is a fact. But the truth that he can't get to me is more important. I just walk on, armed with the truth!
Fear is the only weapon darkness has against us.
(My friend Shirley gave me this acrostic for fear. False Evidence Appearing Real. Good, right?!)
We've walked with Christ long enough to know, He is with us always! He will never leave us alone, nor vulnerable to the fears of life. So we walk forward, armed with the full truth.
And when we're invited to be part of a miracle, we take the step with confidence! Experience has taught us that where He guides, He provides. God is faithful; we can trust Him.
The challenge? Don't be afraid of what looks impossible. We should be more afraid of missing out on the wonderful possibilities God has planned for us!
Take up truth and trust. Walk on. Don't slacken your pace when the enemy barks loudly. There are great things to be accomplished - and you're meant to be part of the miracle!