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“I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”            Psalm 34:4,5

We took our three year old grandson to the mall this morning.  We had no intention of buying anything, we just wanted to take a leisurely walk indoors on a rainy day.  Every thing was going well with Shepherd holding his Daddo’s hand as we walked along.  But then suddenly something attracted his attention and he started pulling as hard as he could to go and see it.   I wonder if that’s the way we walk with Jesus.  We are content to walk along holding His hand until we see something we want that may not be His will for us.  We pull and strain to be free so we can go “our way”  instead of following His way.  Sometimes He lets us experience these detours from His way.  But usually it doesn’t take long before we realize the consequences of our disobedience and we wish we had never left His path.   Our grandson took off running and Daddo chased him.  It was all a great game to Shepherd.  Once I remember taking my son to go shopping and when I looked around he had disappeared.  For several moments I called and searched and began to feel panicky when I couldn’t find him.  It turned out that he had crawled under a circular rack of long coats and was happily sitting in the middle of them.  It was his idea of hide and seek.  But my son had no idea of the fear that I was feeling when he didn’t come when I called.

God knows exactly where we are when we take off on our own way.  But often times we can not see and have no idea of the danger we may be walking into.  Fear is sometimes the only thing that will make us come running back to Him.  What a wonderful feeling it is to be held in the loving arms of a grandfather who loves and forgives us just like our heavenly Father when we have strayed.   Sometimes we forget that this wonderful omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God is the only one who can guide, protect and provid for us.  His love is unfailing, yet we turn to the world hoping to find help and answers.  We become too busy for God.  How it must grieve His heart when we turn away from Him.  Over and over the “Heroes of Faith” in the bible illustrate God’s faithfulness. When they prayed to God, He saved them from their difficulties.  We must teach these stories to our children so that when they have a problem, they will first pray and turn to God rather then seeking the world’s advice.

Elisha the prophet had an intimate relationship with God and it enabled him to see with the eyes of faith.  The king of Aram sent horses and chariots and a strong force of men to capture Elisha.  But Elisha, looking with the eyes of faith, told his worried servant,  “Don’t be afraid.  Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”     II Kings 6:16 

The servant was only able to see with eyes of fear that focused on the opposing army .  But Elisha prayed,  “O LORD, open his eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”   II Kings 6:17

Faith is a little like anything else in life.  As we exercise our faith it grows stronger.  In order to reach our goals and follow God’s plan for our lives, we will have to step out in faith over and over again.  Just like Peter, we may be willing to step out of the boat but most likely when we do, we will begin to look at the waves and storm and start to sink.  When we take our eyes off Jesus and begin thinking about how hopeless our situation appears instead of depending on the mighty power of God, our strength will fail.  We will crumble to our knees under the stress.   But being on our knees may well be the best place to be.  When we realize we are helpless, we  begin to realize how much we need God.  Trusting that God knows the best way for us and has planned every step of the way enables us to see with eyes of faith and rest confidently in His peace.   “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”      Psalm 91:14,15

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