Monday, September 15, 2003
Some of our best family memories are from some of our camping vacations. See, we got real close - I mean, literally - sleeping together in our little tent. We enjoyed beautiful scenery, great outdoor-cooked meals, a peaceful environment, living by the sun. Of course, there were a few downsides - like those very dark nights in very dark campgrounds.
I can remember our boys' ambivalence to walk to the bathroom on nights like those. They had the need to use the facilities and that was undeniable, but the dark path and the dark woods ... well, they were scary, especially knowing there were bears in those woods. But one thing would unparalyze them - when they reached up in the dark and found my hand. Once they were holding their father's hand, they could keep walking into the darkness.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Courage For The Unknown."
It's amazing the difference your Father's hand can make when you're walking into the unknown - which is exactly where God may be leading you now. You've sensed His leading, and He's leading you out of the "tent" of your comfort zone, out of the light of the familiar and the safe, and He's leading you into some new territory for your family, your security, maybe for your career, your location, maybe your ministry. And the trail ahead is full of questions - maybe even bears.
Well, God has a wonderful promise to keep your feet moving on the scary road you're on - 12 little words that are the difference between moving ahead or chickening out. Our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Thessalonians 5:24. "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." Your Heavenly Father says, "I got you onto this road. Take hold of My hand because I'm going to lead you and take care of you all the way." Now, if God has called you into something, God will do it, too! It's not up to you to make this all the work; it's up to the One who got you into this! Which answers just about every fear that might make you want to slow down or turn back.
You're not the first child of God that He's led on a path that is full of uncertainty. He did it with His ancient children - 40 years in the wilderness. Listen to Moses' summary of what God does for us when He is leading us into the unknown. "Do not be terrified ... the Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you. In the desert you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries His son ... He went ahead of you on your journey ... to show you the way you should go" (Deuteronomy 1:29-32).
There's your guarantee. You can keep walking confidently into the unknown because your Father is committed to coach you as to where to step next, to carry you when you can't go any farther, to cover you with His protection from harm, and to care for you, providing for every need. He's called you. He'll do it! So no matter how dark the road ahead looks, no matter how many bears there are, no matter how scared you feel, you just grab hold of your Father's hand and just keep walking in the direction that He is leading.