“Do not fear! Stand firm and see the salvation of the LORD that he will provide for you today…The LORD will fight for you, and you can be still.” ” Exodus 14:13-14
There are moments in each of our lives when we are brought face to face with our own inadequacies, weaknesses and shortcomings. Whether we want to admit these or not, is another question. However, lack of admission does not equate negation, ie our denial thereof does not make it go away! How great it is at times like these to know that we have someone stronger standing with us in our times of weakness.
While reflecting on this I recall my son, Liam, playing with his soccer ball back in Strandfontein, Cape Town, where we lived before moving abroad. There was an occasion (in fact, more than once) when he’d kick the ball into the neighbour’s yard. The survival of the ball was debatable, since the neighbours had a “lion” in their back yard. (Ok, for my New Zealand and Australian friends, some clarification is needed here: No, we South Africans do NOT have lions, or any other member of the Big Five running around in our back yards. The use of the term “lion” here is purely for metaphorical and allegorical purposes). The “lion” of a Rottweiler in the neighbour’s yard ate soccer balls for breakfast!
Whenever this happened, Liam was always hesitant to go and knock on the neighbour’s door. We would watch him through the window – stressing and distressing over and over again, just not able to pluck up enough courage. When we observed him nearing the threshold of panic, I would go out and offer to go with him as far as the gate, but he would still have to go knock on the neighbour’s door.
What an amazing transformation took place, right before my eyes. This lad that just a few moments ago had been so timid and afraid, marched up to the neighbour’s front porch as if he owned the house. With a final glance back to make sure that Daddy was still there, he’d knock on the door, and within minutes we were on our way back home, full of toothy smiles, the ball having been retrieved. (Clearly, the “lion” had had its fill of soccer balls for the day!)
What brough about the transformation? It was the same neighbour; the same“lion” of a dog; the same problematic situation. However, the secret in Liam’s world at that point in time, was this: in his moment of weakness, timidity and fear, he knew that his 6.2 ft daddy (me), who in his world, feared nothing and nobody (if only he knew how untrue that is), was watching over him; standing in the wings ready to move in and fight on his behalf if anything should go wrong!
As we stand on the brink of a new week, there are challenges that are known (for me it’s meeting with the district presidents, meeting with returning pastors and preaching in chapel) as well as those that remain unknown. What will our frames of reference be at this time next week – will we be battered and bruised in the wake of a tough week, or will we be looking back with a sense of satisfaction knowing that we’ve met our challenges head-on?
One thing is certain, Dear Friends, at every stop along the way, when uncertain about the next step; when fearful and worried, just pause for a moment, and take a quick glance back– there you’ll find the Heavenly Father reassuringly smiling upon you, letting you know that His strength is perfect in your weakness! He’ll be there egging you on: “My grace is sufficient for you!”
When there are unknowns lying behind the door; when the “lion” is roaring in the distance, reminding you how weak and inadequate you are – know this: there is a God Who is fighting on your behalf, Who’s everlasting arms are around you, behind you, over you, beneath you!
Enter this week IN Him, WITH Him and THROUGH Him! Love and blessings!