When I first began getting to know Sarah-Jane, we were sharing deep and simple things about ourselves. Among the simple things was sharing information like what kind of cars we drive. When she told me about her car, I have to admit, I couldn’t picture it. I had heard of the model, but what it looked like escaped me.
You have, no doubt, experienced this phenomenon. Now that the make and model of her car has entered my consciousness, I see hundreds of them.
Did they all of a sudden appear, or have they been there all along, unnoticed?
Of course, they were around me all the time.
As I enter into this new chapter of my life, in faith, the road has not yet shown itself to be smooth, simple, and as had been planned. I certainly didn’t expect simple, but I had a game plan factoring in the understanding there would be inevitable obstacles. Even as much as you think you have planned contingencies, faith can only be stretched when the obstacles are greater than your plans and abilities. And like the phenomenon I described above, it seems that everywhere I turn, I’m seeing God’s assurance to me in a variety of formats, even in unconventional ways.
This morning, I saw this cartoon on Facebook. It is amusing to see it illustrated this way, but when you’re looking up the hill at the course, it certainly doesn’t give you an entertaining feeling. As I sit here at my computer contemplating the day ahead and the road before me, it is critical that I not focus on the road, as much as my Navigator.
Here is what He tells me:
Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.
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.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
As I was researching these amazing, comforting scriptures of hope and assurance, I came across one that, for whatever reason, stuck out above the others. There are times in our lives when things look so bleak, so discouraging, so fraught with challenge, that those who truly love us and have our best interest at heart, will look at the “signs” and try to speak logic to us. Their hearts and intentions are pure. But in Mark 5, we find the story of a desperate father of a dying 12 year old girl. He pleaded with Jesus to lay hands on her and heal her. While they were on their way, news had come that the daughter had died. Those around the father, trying to help him face reality, spoke logic to him. “Your daughter is dead.” They urged him not to bother Jesus about this any further. But then we see verse 26.
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Sure enough, as the chapter continues, Jesus spoke, and the girl was healed.
In the face of what seems lost, in the face of overwhelming obstacles, in the face of logic, remember His words:
Don’t be afraid; just believe.