Wednesday, March 1, 2017
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Zero visibility and I was driving in it. All I could think of was those disturbing images of fifty vehicles smooshed in some fog-caused pileup. Thankfully, I made it. But it is scary driving when you have no idea what's ahead. Which pretty much describes how a lot of folks feel about the times we're living in right now. I mean, as Bob Dylan said, "the times, they are a changing." We're just not sure where all the road's going.
Technologically, we're so empowered by technology, but we're potentially powerless if it all goes away. Politically, you've got a new President and that makes it hard to predict where the road's going to end up. Culturally, well we've got this "anything goes" world that has taken us into unmapped territory. Internationally, our enemies are flexing their muscles and they're flaunting their missiles.
And then there are the personal blows. Like the moment last spring when the love of my life was suddenly in eternity. I've driven every mile of my adult life with one person. Suddenly, she was gone. But, look, I'm not alone in this kind of stuff. Many of us have experienced how quickly the road can disappear in the fog. One doctor's visit. One drunk driver. One announcement from the boss. One call from the police. One impulse in your brain. One "it's over" from someone you love.
With so much changing, with so much that can change at any moment, security is elusive unless we prioritize the truly important things that the fog and the storm can't touch.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Foggy Roads and Changing Times."
What are some of those things that fog can't touch? Well, first of all, guarding your island of sanity. My wife and I concluded a long time ago that while our world was beyond our control, our home was up to us. It was our job to guard it as the one safe place for us and our children – our island of sanity in a crazy world.
The Bible praises the woman who is "clothed with strength and dignity" and who can "laugh without fear of the future...she carefully watches everything in her household" (Proverbs 31:25, 27). And Proverbs 14 affirms that "he who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge" (Proverbs 14:26).
Minimizing conflict, listening well, sharing real feelings, having clear and fair boundaries, loving in each other's language, living what you believe. See, that's what we can protect, whatever the "weather." It's our "safe room."
And then going by God's GPS is another important priority. There's one place that I can see no matter how dense the fog. That's in the presence of the God who rules it all. Listening to God in the early moments of the day through the "Love Letter" (the Bible) that He wrote to us. It's the one place that's always calm, always safe, where the light's always shining.
When I can't see where I'm going – and I've had plenty of those moments like that in the past year believe me. That's when our word for today from the Word of God kicks in. Psalm 119:105, "Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." The harder it is to spend that time, the more I need it. I get lost if I don't. I can see my way through the fog when I start my day asking God to show me what He sees.
And then there's handing out hope. "Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" the Bible says (Proverbs 11:25). My Karen, she was so that person. She told me it was because she'd laid claim to the promise that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). She just laid anchor in God's joy, no matter the hurts, no matter the medical challenges. Nothing that happens in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, on Wall Street or at work can stop you from handing out hope!
And then, boy, here's an anchor – staying close to the Shepherd. Right now I'm looking at my favorite picture of Jesus. He's the Good Shepherd, guiding His sheep, cuddling this little lamb in His arms. That lamb is me. Through my darkest night, my fiercest storm, I've been safe. If I stay close to the Shepherd, the Bible says, "even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for You are close to me" (Psalm 23:4).
I may not be able to see what's ahead, but I'm not driving anyway. He's carrying me.