Courage – Teaching

Innocence, Gentleness, Peace

Courage – Introduction

Who hasn’t faced moments of fear at some point or other? The truth is, we, as a society, tend to operate from a standpoint of fear. We lock our cars out of fear of theft. We lock our homes out of fear of theft and fear for our safety. Many of us live in fear of losing our jobs, fear of losing a relationship, fear of illness, etc. We buy insurance to minimize and assuage our fear of losing our homes or property to theft, fire, or accident. We even buy life insurance out of fear of leaving our loved ones in a state of financial ruin in the event of our death. We hear reports of horrifying events around the globe, and we fear violence, disease, the collapse of the world’s monetary systems.

The question before us is, do we live our lives and look to our futures with a sense of dread, or with a sense of wonder, excitement, and hope? Do we let our fears control us, or do we step out and experience life with courage?

Spiritual Quote

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
~Ambrose Redmoon

Thoughts

Much of what we fear never actually comes to pass. And, many of our fears are easily laid to rest with a little planning, like buying insurance. We don’t stay up at night in worry – we realize a potential risk, we take steps to minimize the risk, and we go about our lives. But, sometimes, our fears become debilitating and paralyzing. Maybe we’ve been so severely hurt in the past that we fear ever being hurt to that extent again, and so we close ourselves off. We build walls around ourselves so high and so strong that we isolate ourselves to the extent we merely exist – never truly living life.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a certain amount of fear is a good thing. It can guide us to make decisions that are ultimately in our best interest. For example, most of us didn’t have reason to truly fear our parents. But, we had a healthy fear of the consequence should we misbehave. As adults, a certain level of fear can keep us from taking unnecessary risks, putting ourselves or others in danger.

In order to have a discussion about fear and courage, we should understand what the two words mean.

Fear is defined as: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur.

Courage is defined as: the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to deal with or face danger, fear, or pain.

Notice that fear is based in emotion – distressing emotion, feelings of dread, apprehension, anticipation. Courage, on the other hand, is more spiritual in nature – state of mind, quality of spirit. Having courage doesn’t mean there is an absence of fear, it means that, in spite of dangers, fears, or pain, we press on and experience life in ways we could not if paralyzed by fear. Courage is what allows us to move forward and to grow. It is that next step, that growth, that we determine to be more important than the fear. If we allow ourselves to become paralyzed by fear, we get stuck, we don’t move forward, we don’t grow – we simply exist.

While some of our fears may be justified, God wants more for us than simply existing. So, how do we break out of the bonds of fear and face the challenges of life with courage? For those who don’t have a relationship with God, it can be difficult. They are largely on their own. They must turn inward and try to find ways within themselves; or they must look outward, to someone or something that will inspire them. On the other hand, since courage is largely spiritual in nature, people of faith, who have a relationship with God, can turn to Him.

Scripture instructs us to have courage because we have the assurance that God is always with us.

  • Joshua 1:9 – “Behold, I have commanded you. Be strong and of good courage; fear not, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Aramaic)
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor tremble before them; for it is the Lord you God who goes with you; He will not fail you, nor forsake you.” (Aramaic)
  • Psalm 31:24 “Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that trust in the Lord.” (Aramaic)
  • Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I have strengthened you, and have also helped you, yea, I will also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.” (Aramaic)

We can all think of times in our past when we were fearful, and God was with us. When we’re fearful, we must remind ourselves that God has seen us through in the past, and He will again. He will strengthen us and He will guide us. Turning to Him in prayer and meditation and, in the stillness of our hearts, He will let us know how to proceed, whether to move forward or wait, which decisions to make, or what actions to take. Scripture assures us that God is always with us and will not fail us, but we must remember to turn to Him and ask for the guidance we seek. He will give us the strength to forge ahead, despite the challenges we may face.

For those without faith, or if we of faith forget to turn to Him, we may feel like we have to face our fears alone. But God doesn’t expect us to be strong without Him. With a relationship with Jesus, however, we don’t have to face our fears alone.

  • Mark 5:36 – “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”” (ESV)
  • Hebrews 13:5-6 – “…for the Lord Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear…” (Aramaic)

It is by our faith (trust) and our belief (knowing) we are assured that the Lord will help us along the way. However, we must remember to turn to Him and give our fears over to Him. How do we know? If we turn to Scripture the answer is set before us.

  • 1 John 4:8 – “…God is love.” (Aramaic)
  • 1 John 4:18 states, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear is tormenting…” (Aramaic)

Fear and love cannot co-exist. The key to courage, then, is love. The more one moves into love, the more fear is pushed out. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, the more we experience His love, and the more we express His love to those around us. The more we express His love to others, the deeper our relationship with Him grows.

In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, “…If you abide by My word, you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth, and that very truth will make you free.” (Aramaic) What’s the truth? John 14:6 gives the answer – “…I am the way and the truth and the life…”(Aramaic) Basically, Jesus is telling us He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him. And, when we do, when we think as He wants us to think, behave as He wants us to behave, live as He wants us to live, and love as He wants us to love, the deeper our relationship with Him will be. The deeper our relationship with Him grows, the more we are set free – set free from sin (thoughts, words, and actions that move us away from God), free from fear.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve all known fear – whether real or imagined. It doesn’t take a lack of fear to live fully and experience all that life has to offer; it takes courage to face those fears and move past them. Courage is borne of love, and love is borne of God. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus said, “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to it, love your neighbor as yourself.” (Aramaic) If we truly love God with all of our hearts and minds, body and soul, what happens? We experience His love. Since His love is perfect, and perfect love casts out fear, through a deep and abiding relationship with Him, as is made possible through His Son, Jesus Christ, we will find the courage to face any challenge that might come our way.

Let us Pray…

Scripture

  • Joshua 1:9
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Psalm 31:24
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Mark 5:36
  • Hebrews 13:5-6
  • 1 John 4:8
  • 1 John 4:18
  • John 8:31-32
  • John 14:6
  • Matthew 22:37-39

Join the Discussion

If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to respectfully comment. And, if this message resonates with you, please fee free to share it.

Support Our Ministry

We are a very small church doing wonderful things within our community. In order to continue doing the work God has put before us, we need your help. Please consider making a donation, or sign up as a monthly pledge donor. All gifts large and small are greatly appreciated. Simply click the Donate link in the upper menu. Thank you, and may God bless your generosity.

We Are A Community Of Spiritual Growth And Healing Where Everyone Is Welcome!

Honoring Our Fathers – Teaching

Innocence, Gentleness, PeaceHonoring Our Fathers – Introduction

To those who are fathers, or who fill the role of a father, Happy Father’s Day. Exodus 20:12 tells us to “honor thy father and mother.” This, of course, is something we should always do. Of course, we should honor our fathers and mothers always. But today is the day we set aside each year specifically for honoring our fathers.

Spiritual Quote

“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, singers of songs.”
~Pam Brown

A Little History

Father’s Day was inaugurated to complement Mother’s Day as a way of Honoring our Fathers. Following the success of establishing Mother’s Day as a national holiday in 1908, Sonora Dodd is credited with being the driving force behind establishing a day for honoring our fathers. She and others tried numerous times, yet each attempt was met with cynicism, even jokes and sarcasm. Even several attempts were made for congressional action, each bill failed due to fears of commercialization. Mother’s Day was established in 1908. It wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers on the third Sunday of June. And it wasn’t until six years later in 1972 when President Richard Nixon established Father’s Day as a permanent holiday by signing it into law.

And so, today, June 15, in honor of fathers everywhere, we celebrate Father’s Day.

Thoughts

Like Mother’s Day, writing a message for Father’s Day can get a little tricky. We want to honor fathers, but we also must be sensitive to those who have not had a great relationship with their dads; and to those, like me, whose dads are no longer with us. A lot of us have, or had, great dads. Some of us are dads, and we’ve tried, or are trying, to be great dads. Others may not have had such a great dad; and some of us may be struggling with our own role as a father.

If we have, or had, great dads, we remember fondly all that they did for us and all that they taught us. If they’re still with us, we can spend time with them, either in person or on the phone if they’re far away, and we can let them know just how much we appreciate them. If our dads have passed, as mine has, we can spend some quiet time today and reflect on our memories of them, and we can be thankful for the time that we had with them. Even if our dads aren’t or weren’t the greatest, we can at least be thankful for the fact that they gave us life; we can honor them for that, and we can spend time with, or remember, those who filled the role of a father in our lives.

And, if we’re dads ourselves, hopefully our children are thinking of and honoring us today, too.

A Good Father

Scripture has a lot to say about being a great father. I’d also like to acknowledge Pastor Lynn Floyd for his thoughts on this subject.

As we review some of the verses, I invite you to reflect on the great father figures in your lives. And, for those of us who are fathers, we can also reflect on these verses to see how they might apply in our lives:

  • A father loves his children.

Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on his children…”

The Hebrew word translated as compassion means love, tender-hearted, merciful. This means a father puts the needs of his children before his own. It means striving to do what’s right for the sake of the child. That may look different from family to family, but the concept remains the same – fathers are to love their children.

  • A father treats his children fairly and with kindness.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath…”

This ties back to loving – being loving and merciful. Fathers are to treat their children fairly, with kindness and gentleness. One Bible translation uses the word exasperate; which means create hostility, or to cause irritation or anger. This doesn’t mean that children are allowed to do whatever they want to do, that fathers aren’t supposed to punish errant behavior. But it means that any such punishment must be given fairly and lovingly.

  • A father provides discipline.

“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24

The original word in the KJV, translated in modern versions as diligent, is betimes; which means early or occasionally, at times. Children need boundaries, and they need to learn consequences. At times, this means discipline for errant behavior. This instruction must be tied back to treating children fairly. When punishment is necessary, it must be administered with love and with a sense of fairness, and never out of anger. Of course, the child won’t necessarily like it at the time.

No child likes being put on time out, is thrilled by getting grounded, or enjoys getting a spanking. Paul speaks to this in Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

  • A father takes the time to train and instruct his children.

The second part of Ephesians 6:4 says, “Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.” Instruction the Lord would approve of is moral and spiritual – giving our children a sense of right and wrong, good and evil. The best way for a father to do this is by example. Fathers must live the lives they wish their children to emulate.

  • Fathers provide for their families.

1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” This verse makes it clear that fathers have a responsibility to provide for their families. This doesn’t just mean necessities like food and shelter. Fathers should provide stability and security, and provide an environment in which children can flourish and grow into responsible, successful, loving, adults.

Personally, I’m grateful I had a father who lived up to each and every one of the above Scriptures. He provided for our family. Though we weren’t rich, we never lacked for anything. He worked hard to provide the material necessities, he provided stability and security, and he created an environment in which we could flourish. He spent time with us, took an interest in our interests, gave us a sense of right and wrong – and he taught by example. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of some lesson he gave me, whether by word or example. When necessary, he had no qualms living up to Proverbs. True to Paul’s words, I didn’t like it at the time. But, looking back, though they were painful at times, I’m thankful my dad cared enough to discipline me when needed; and I can honestly say I deserved, and learned from, every whippin’ I ever got.  (Well, except for one I got when I was put in the position of making one of two choices – both of which would have earned a spanking. Dad and I talked about that incident years later and he agreed that I really didn’t deserve that one. On the other hand, there were many, many that I did deserve that I didn’t get, so we just called it even.) He was always fair, never abusive, and never treated one of us differently than another. And, even when he had to punish us, it was done fairly and lovingly.

Most of all, he genuinely loved us – he put our needs above his own, and his greatest joy was to see us grow into honest, loving, responsible, and happy adults. Like our quote, I had the privilege of having a dad who was a story-teller, an adventurer, a singer of songs, and a hero.

I hope that you, too, have had that type of father. If not, I hope you had a father-figure in your lives. If you have, and if you are able, take a moment today to reach out to that special person. Let him know how much he is loved, and how much you appreciate all he has done to help shape you into who you are today. And, if like me, your father or father figure has already passed, or you are otherwise unable to reach out personally, take a moment today to spend some quiet time reflecting and remembering him.

If you’re a father, or if you are filling that role for someone, I invite you to reflect on these Scriptures and let them guide you into being the best father you can be. And, due to circumstances, are not be able to be an active part of your children’s lives, start with simply loving them. Set aside any selfish desires you may have and make decisions for them that are in their best interest. And pray that they have a father-figure who will provide for them that which you are not currently able to provide.

Closing Thoughts

I invite you to keep one other thing in mind. There is one other Father whom we should be honoring today. Regardless of the type of dad we had, or the type of dad we are, we all have a Heavenly Father who loves us. Ephesians 4:6 reminds us, “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Our Heavenly Father will never leave us. Even if our earthly father is absent, we always have God. Psalm 27:10 tells us, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.” And Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us, “…He will never leave you nor forsake you.” God loves us as much as He loves His own Son, Jesus. In John 17:23, Jesus’ prayer states this plainly when He says, “…Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.”

John 8:43 tells us, “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.”” Regardless of whether or not we have, or had, what we might consider a great dad, through our faith in and love for Jesus, we have a Father who remains constant in our lives. God, our creator, is our Heavenly Father. And so, today, when honoring our earthly fathers, let’s also remember to honor God, the Father of all.

I’d like to close today by sharing a poem by Claris Dye:

A LETTER TO DAD

There are so many things I’d like
To tell you face to face;
I either lack the words or fail
To find the time and place.

But in this special letter, Dad,
You’ll find, at least in part,
The feelings that the passing years
Have left within my heart.

The memories of childhood days
And all that you have done,
To make our home a happy place
And growing up such fun!

I still recall the walks we took,
The games we often played;
Those confidential chats we had
While resting in the shade.

This letter comes to thank you, and,
For needed words of praise;
The counsel and the guidance, too,
That shaped my grown-up days.

No words of mine can tell you, Dad,
The things I really feel;
But you must know my love for you
Is lasting, warm and real.

You made my world a better place,
And through the coming years;
I’ll keep these memories of you
As cherished souvenirs.

Scripture

  • Exodus 20:12
  • Psalm 103:13
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Proverbs 13:24
  • Hebrews 12:11
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • 1 Timothy 5:8
  • Ephesians 4:6
  • Psalm 27:10
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • John 8:43

Join the Discussion

If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to respectfully comment. And, if this message resonates with you, please fee free to share it.

Support Our Ministry

We are a very small church doing wonderful things within our community. In order to continue doing the work God has put before us, we need your help. Please consider making a donation, or sign up as a monthly pledge donor. All gifts large and small are greatly appreciated. Simply click the Donate link in the upper menu. Thank you, and may God bless your generosity.

We Are A Community Of Spiritual Growth And Healing Where Everyone Is Welcome!

Stories of Non – Teaching

Innocence, Gentleness, PeaceStories of Non – Introduction

We all face challenges every day, and I am no exception. Some call these challenges “tests of faith.” Some even question, “where is God” and “why is this happening to me?” This week we’re going to review three stories by Eckhart Tolle – three Stories of Non. Honestly, the practices seem quite simple on the surface. But, on closer examination, we can see how the principles put forth in the Stories of Non can be deeply rooted in our faith.

Spiritual Quote

“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. ”
~Grandma Moses

Thoughts

This week, I’ve faced some challenges that, quite honestly, have tested my faith. Many of you probably have, too. I’ve been reading, and re-reading, three stories by Eckhart Tolle from his book, “A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” I call them Stories of Non. On the surface, the Stories of Non, and the principles they espouse, seem quite simple. They also seem to come under the heading, “Easy to say, not quite as easy to do.” But, by looking deeper at the stories, and how they relate to my faith, I am reminded that “bad” things happen. I’m also reminded that “bad” is relative – it’s how I choose to perceive the situation. And, no matter what, God is right here with me. It’s up to me how I choose to face the challenges.

Story #1 – Maybe – It Is What It Is

“The deeper interconnectedness of all things and events implies that the mental labels of “good” and “bad” are ultimately illusory. They always imply a limited perspective and so are true only relatively and temporarily. This is illustrated in the story of a wise man who won an expensive car in a lottery. His family and friends were very happy for him and came to celebrate. “Isn’t it great!” they said. “You are so lucky.” The man smiles and said, “Maybe.” For a few weeks he enjoyed driving the car. Then one day a drunken driver crashed into his new car at an intersection and he ended up in the hospital, with multiple injuries. His family and friends cam to see him and said, “That was really unfortunate.” Again the man smiled and said, “Maybe.” While he was still in the hospital, one night there was a landslide and his house fell into the sea. Again his fr4iends came the next day and said, “Weren’t you lucky to have been here in hospital.” Again he said, “Maybe.””

Story #2 – Is That So

“The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next-door neighbor became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as to the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master.

In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting and accusing that their daughter had confessed that he was the father. All he replied was, “Is that so?”

News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin. “You are the father, so you look after him.” The Master took loving care of the child. A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at a butcher shop. In great distress they went to see Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. “We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.” “Is that so?” is all he would say as he handed the baby over to them.

The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, in exactly the same way: “Is that so?” He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness.”

Story #3 – This, Too, Will Pass

“According to an ancient Sufi story, there lived a king in some Middle Eastern land who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The slightest thing would cause him great upset or provoke an intense reaction, and his happiness would quickly turn into disappointment and despair. A time came when the king finally got tired of himself and of life, and he began to seek a way out. He sent for a wise man who lived in his kingdom and who was reputed to be enlightened. When the wise man came, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you give me something that will bring balance, serenity, and wisdom into my life? I will pay any price you ask.”

The wise man said, “I may be able to help you. But the price is so great that your entire kingdom would not be sufficient payment for it. Therefore it will be a gift to you if you will honor it.” The king gave his assurances, and the wise man left.

A few weeks later, he returned and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box and found a simple gold ring inside. Some letters were inscribed on the ring. The inscription read: This, too, will pass. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wise man said, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way, you will always be at peace.””

Putting Them All Together

As Mr. Tolle states, “The full import of these words [This, Too, Shall Pass] becomes clear when we consider them in the context of two other stories that we encountered earlier. The story of the Zen Master whose only response was always “is that so?” shows the good that comes through inner nonresistance to events, that is to say, being at one with what happens. The story of the man whose comment was invariably a laconic “Maybe” illustrates the wisdom of nonjudgment, and the story of the ring points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to nonattachment. Nonresistance, nonjudgment, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.”

Three statements – Maybe…Is That So…This, Too, Will Pass. Three simple statements…quite easy to say; much harder to live. But, as I re-read these stories this week, I began to realize they have scriptural foundations, too:

Luke 23:24 – “Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”” Jesus accepted the situation as it was. In fact, during his entire ordeal He never resisted what the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Romans did to Him. Even from the cross, He never condemned or judged them.

Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Philippians 4:11-13 – “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Hebrews 13:5 – “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.””

Colossians 3:1-4 – “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth…”

In Matthew, Jesus is reminding us that everything of this world is temporary, so don’t get attached to it. Enjoy it while you have it. But, if it goes away, that’s the nature of things. Instead, never let go of faith – it can never be taken away.

Philippians, Hebrews, and Colossians remind us of Paul’s total acceptance over his circumstances and his detachment from material “things.” He understood that everything is temporary, including this earthly life, so he didn’t stress over it. Whether “good” or “bad” – Paul leaned on his faith in Jesus.

Conclusion

So, we have three simple stories…Stories of Non: Nonresistance, Nonattachment, and Nonjudgment. And, scripture validates each and every one of these concepts. Scripture also reminds us to always turn to God in faith, regardless of circumstance. One thing scripture adds, though, is passages that remind us of God’s promise to never leave us. Let’s take a look at just a few of them:

Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Joshua 1:9 – “…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 8:20 – “…And behold, I am with you always…”

We all have troubles and challenges. And, I am no exception. As I mentioned at the beginning today, this week has been full of challenges for me. But, as I pondered and reflected and, yes, even stressed a bit – okay, a lot – I realized I was stressing over “things”. Researching and preparing for today helped me immensely. I am reminded, again, that “things” and situations and possible outcomes are all temporary, or haven’t even happened yet. And, though put into much simpler terms, Grandma Moses was right – life is what we make it.

As I re-read the Stories of Non, and immersed myself in scripture, my feelings of helplessness and hopelessness abated. I became more at peace with it all. I am reassured that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are always with me. No matter what happens, that can never be taken away. And that fills me with a sense of hope.

In closing, I want to share again a poem. It bears witness to Jesus’ reassurance that we will never be alone. We’ve all heard it before but in getting caught up in life, in “things of this world,” we tend to forget. For me, perhaps for you, too, it bears repeating:

Footprints

One night I had a dream–
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”
~Mary Stevenson

Scripture

  • Luke 23:24
  • Matthew 6:19-21
  • Philippians 4:11-13
  • Hebrews 13:5
  • Colossians 3:1-4
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Deuteronomy 31:8
  • Joshua 1:9
  • Matthew 6:34
  • Matthew 8:20

Join the Discussion

If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to comment. And, if this message resonates with you, please fee free to share it.

We Are A Community Of Spiritual Growth and Healing Where Everyone Is Welcome!