Tuesday, January 21, 2014

All the way through

In the next few weeks, many of us will be remarking, "Wow, how did he do that?"  And yet, each of us knows that Olympic athletes don't just suddenly appear every four years, fully equipped and dressed with ability for the challenges of their course.  It is not their country's uniform that makes them strong and able.  They may possess a tiny amount of giftedness, but their strength is all in the training, the every day building up and the fruit of their rigorous labors.

I attended once a luncheon where women spoke of their memories of good times.  Even while others were speaking before the group, there was a bit of chitchat going on, not much attention being paid to the nostalgia offered like an overly sweet dessert.  But when it was one woman's turn to speak, the room became suddenly silent, all eyes turned and all ears tuned to her every word.  This was not a woman who basked in glory, but who, in the past few years, had not just come through some horrific struggles, but had emerged even stronger than before.  She did not just name the name of Jesus, she did not just claim a few scattered verses of Scripture, but she had literally been to the edge and back again.  And Jesus was right with her.  These women wanted to know -- indeed, needed to know -- that God is real.  He is there afterall.

My friend's strength did not emerge from success and favorable circumstances, not from the luck of the draw nor in personal ability, but in God alone.  She had learned to trust Him in the every days, and when the crisis came, well, she learned to trust Him through that as well.  God is in that too.  He is there.  You are not alone, Jesus said over and over again.

A passage of Scripture caught in my thoughts this morning as I read it, like a tune that repeats in a continual loop.  Notice what makes the difference in these verses, certainly not the circumstances.

He reached from on high,
He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me,
       fpor they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me
                  in the day of my calamity,
     but the LORD was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
He delivered me,
            because He delighted in me.

                              Psalm 18. 16-19

...but the LORD was my stay.

God may literally pluck you out of the flood,
or He may guide you right through it.
Deliverance comes in many shapes and sizes.
But He is there.
He loves you.
He delights in you.
Learn to trust Him,
       not your own strength,
       certainly not the blue skies of life
                       nor the storms.

Train now in trust.

Trust Him in all ways
          and all the way.

I don't know what you are going through, my friend,
       but you can trust God through it.
God is real.

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