Category Archives: Analogies

Through

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.  Isaiah 43:2 (NKJ) 

I smiled tensely as he pulled closer, instinctively stepping back away from the road. “No, I don’t need a ride sir…actually, I am exercising….thank you though” My tone indicated how ridiculous even I knew it was.  I mean, who chooses to exercise smack dab in the middle of the day in 95 degree weather?   He arched his eyebrows indicating confusion at the absurdity and tersely responded with “Oh, I thought you had broken down…okay then.”

I kept walking.

My phone rang and as my legs slowly lunged forward my hands reached to grab it.  It was my husband who could tell by my “hello” that something was awry.  I shared with him that I was in fact on a walk, and wasn’t feeling very well because, I thought, it was so hot outside and I had gone too far. In a rebuke filled with concern he stated  “Well that was foolish, will you go home please?”  Subduing the urge to sarcastically thank Him for stating the obvious I responded “yes love, that’s what I’m trying to do.”

The cramp in my side was hurting as I realized that the four cups of morning coffee failed to hydrate me well for this endeavor. My head was pounding and my face and neck felt like they were on fire.  Every step begged for me to just sit down a minute and take a rest.  The problem was, I was walking along the side of a fairly busy country road with no-where to stop and rest.  A friend just happened to drive by going the opposite direction.  She smiled, waved and drove on…my pride kept me from waving her down and asking her to give me a ride home.

I kept walking.

As I walked I contemplated my choice to begin walking in the first place.  I had meant to start earlier in the day because I knew it was going to be hot.  The temperature when I stepped out on my covered porch had been at least ten degrees cooler than what I was now experiencing.  I had considered remaining only in my neighborhood however had decided to do my normal several miles because “if I was going to do it I might as well make it count.”  If I would have had the energy it would have been that moment that I would have kicked myself for my over-achieving tendencies.

I kept walking

With home again in sight, I couldn’t even muster enough energy to speed up and get there more quickly.  I found a shady spot under a tree and lay in the shade to catch my breath allowing my heart to slow down.  Moments later I felt the ants whom I had carelessly disturbed crawling all over my right arm.  Frustrated I got up, brushed them off and kept walking.

As hard as it was and as bad as I felt, the only way I was going to get home was to get through the walk.

As often it does my minded posed the question ” Lord, is there a devotional in this?”

He reminded me of the many things in life I had had to walk through.  Many times it was painful, many times I fought mental and emotional exhaustion, many times all I wanted to do was quit and yet, the only way to overcome was to walk through.

Daughter of God, do you find yourself in the midst of a difficult situation?  Be encouraged that He is the God that walks with you as you walk through.

Thank you Father that you walk with me through every situation that we face. 

2 Comments

Filed under Analogies

Vitals

The grass withers and the flowers fall,  but the word of our God endures forever.

Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) 

Recently, I traveled to speak at a conference.  Having not been on a plane for awhile, I was very obedient when the stewardess stood in the front of the plane before take-off instructing us to pull out our white information cards and read the poorly illustrated safety instructions.

I looked at the pictures, read the words and watched her demonstration of proper use of the seatbelt and air in “case of emergency.”  Upon glancing up I noticed that none of the other passengers were paying attention to the flight attendant, but instead were consumed in their own worlds of either technology or print.

It amazed me that vital, life saving information was being freely given and everyone was just too consumed in what they were doing to pay any attention.  I was betting on the inside however that if “in case of” emergency was suddenly be upon us, everyone would have wished that that which they had casually dismissed had been fresh in their brain.

By the time I returned home I had had four opportunities to hear a stewardess share safety instructions with me.  And, like all the others, I did not take the time to pull out the white safety instruction card.  Instead I just watched this woman talk to a group of people who were completely uninterested in what she was saying and say it anyways, because it was her job.

How many people are so consumed in their own lives that they aren’t taking time to listen to the safety instructions laid out by God or to read the “white safety instruction card” that is His word?

Many people believe that God lays out instruction to try to control us, limit our freedom or to keep us from “enjoying” life.  What they don’t understand however is that His Word and truth  all originate from His abundant love for us.

There are many who find themselves too consumed with their own lives to really pay attention and take advantage of what God has to say.  They simply don’t understand the freedom, life and liberty that lies within His truth.

Just like the stewardess, God does not share these truths with us for Himself.  He already knows the truth, He IS the truth.  These are the very things however, the only things, that can really help us “in case of emergency” here on this earth- and after.

I would have to say that the highlight of my weekend was having the opportunity to share God’s message of salvation with one of the women who attended the conference.  I was so thankful that in this situation God chose to use me to share vital and yet simple truth with this woman that she had never known before.

God loves you.  He sent His son to die for you.  Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  I have never been one to just throw these words at people.  I have found that when you throw things at people they usually duck!  I am thankful however when the timing is right and God chooses to use me in this way.

I was amazed that this sweet and beautiful woman who was well into her 50’s had never really heard the truth of the Gospel laid out before her.  What an honor to have the opportunity to introduce her to my King, Lord and Daddy.  Because you know, (sorry I can’t resist) I am My Father’s Daughter.

Father, Thank you for your Word which brings truth and life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Analogies, wisdom

Walk On

Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing , Now shall it spring forth; Shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJ)

It wasn’t anything that seemed like it should have been that big of a deal. Something non-climatic like tumbling off of a chair while playing led to my daughter’s ankle being hurt.  She cried out in pain as she landed on it the wrong  way causing it to twist.  I sympathized, knowing from experience how the quick sharp pain of a simple injury like that could linger.

Holding her until tears dried, she eventually seemed okay and I set her down.  I think we were both surprised when she immediately collapsed in the attempt of trying to put pressure on that same ankle.  I scooped her up, set her on the couch in front of Elmo, and figured she would be all better by dinner.

Unfortunately, dinner came and went with no improvement in her condition.  Transitions between dinner to bath and bath to bed offered opportunities to encourage her to “try again” to see if she would be able to walk.  At the slightest hint of pain she refused to even really try.  Becoming concerned, I decided to take her to the pediatrician the next day hoping they might be able to offer some answers.

An examination by a professional offered the explanation that perhaps a slight sprain was causing her some discomfort when she applied pressure. We were told to “give her a few days” and all would be back to normal.

My daughter’s refusal to walk because of the fear of pain impacted all of our lives.  As an almost five year old, Brooke had been fully mobile and self propelled for quite a while.  Quickly adapting, she adopted a forward butt scoot maneuver around the house to get where she needed to go.  The biggest issue came into play however when we had to go out in public.  With an almost one year old and a now immobile, not to mention very heavy four year old, I had my hands more than full.

Three weeks into it, we did everything we could think of to get her to try to walk again.  We encouraged, bribed, cheered, cajoled, challenged and eventually refused to pick her up anymore.  We knew that enough time had passed that her wound had healed, but nothing we said or did could convince her that that same amount of pain would not be there waiting when she placed pressure on her ankle.  I’ll never forget how pitiful she looked sitting on the floor staring up at us with tears streaming down her face in frustration becuase we kept trying to make her walk.  “It hurts!” she would shout at us wishing we would just leave her alone allowing her to spend the rest of her days transporting herself in the butt scooting method she had become so adept in.

Almost ten years later I’m thankful to report that she did indeed walk again.  In a moment of excitement and forgetfulness she pursued something that had been strategically placed on the other side of the room.

Children of God too often allow their hurt to hinder them from continuing to walk in the manner which they have been called.  Fear of hurt has stopped some dead in their tracks.  Fear of man, fear of rejection and fear of failure often keeps us from living in the fullness of life that we were intended to live.  Child of God, the only way to move forward is to keep walking.

Father, help me to always have the courage to move towards the future that You have for me.   

1 Comment

Filed under Analogies, Christian Growth, Forgiveness, healing

Your Out!

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. Col 3:15 (AMP)

One foot on the base, one foot leading off, the runner is taught to keep their eyes on the ball as they determine their next destination. Ears attuned only to the voice of the coach they dismiss the rousing cheers of support from the stands harmonizing with the screeches and laughter of small children playing in the dirt; forced spectators of participating siblings.

As ball and bat meet solidly,  the offering is sacrificed to the outfield.  Bases loaded, the runner’s supreme goal is to travel as far as they can as fast as they can.  Not slowing while rounding second the question becomes; how far away is home and can I make it in time?  Receiving input from the third base coach by way of frantic hand motions, the runner digs deep, runs hard and gives all they have to give.

Somewhere between second and third base the umpire hunkers down and prepares himself to stand as the ultimate judge.  All else fades away as the runner comes within sliding distance of home plate.   Leg extended, body low, the player throws themselves with all their might into the home base slide.

As the dust settles a definitive hand motion accompanied by a gutteral “Out” or “Safe” commands a reaction from all involved.

The umpire’s entire job is to make judgment calls.  When the players step out of line, the umpire is quick to set things straight.  When others aren’t quite sure which way to lean, the umpire holds the ultimate decision making power.  Despite jeers, opinions and grumbles, the umpire’s job is to maintain the atmosphere of a safe and fair ballgame for the kids playing.  The umpire is important.

His purpose established, he is ever present. The players play, the coaches coach, the crowd cheers and the umpire “umps.”  Never have I seen a ballplayer hesitate to make the right play, paralyzed in fear, because of concern that the umpire would not make the call needed when it came down to it.

This happens more than one might think however within the Body of Christ.  The Lord desires a heart that is humble and obedient.  He also desires a heart that is faith-filled. We must have faith that the Holy Spirit will always be there to lead and guide us, and that He loves us enough to bring a lack of peace when and if we step off track concerning moving forward in faith towards what the Lord has called us to.

The Holy Spirit is given as our own personal umpire in this game of life.  John 16:13 encourages us with the reminder that the Holy Spirit will be faithful to lead us into all truth.  We must remember that this not only means in our first steps toward an endeavor but all along the way.  Leading us into “all truth” means that at any point we may stray from truth, the Holy Spirit is just as able and faithful to make us aware that we have gone “out of bounds” as He was to lead us in the first place.

This is what we must remember as we run the race set before us.  Like those players on the ball field it is important that we run, setting our sights on home, offering every bit of heart that we have on the journey to get there.

Father, thank you for your Holy Spirit which leads us by peace. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Analogies, Faith, Peace

Gambler’s Choice

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Tim. 1.7)

Having a horse loving little girl means that we have spent our fair share of time seated upon bleachers as spectators at equestrian competitions.  The riders and horses work as a team and the feats performed vary.

Among the competitive events offered is one called “Gamblers Choice.”  In Gamblers Choice there are a multitude of “obstacles” for the horse and rider to maneuver through and around.  In one particular competition we observed obstacles such as a “Tickle Me Elmo” in all of its giggling glory, a caged rooster and a path of colorful swimming pool “noodles” that had to be walked through. These items that would typically draw the close-up interest of even the smallest human child have the ability to instill pure terror in a horse.

Timid by nature, horses have a tendency to be extremely wary of anything new, different or unknown that they happen to encounter.  The “fight or flight” instinct within them is perpetually set to “flight” and when feeling afraid, their favored response is to turn tail and run. Literally.

As horse and rider attempt to overtake each obstacle before them several important elements come to light.  It’s understood that it is impossible to for a rider to force an equine to do anything that it does not want to do.  With no less than an 800 pound advantage, a horse only does ultimately what it decides it is willing to do.  When asked to maneuver around an object that it would rather have nothing to do with,  it is ultimately trust that encourages a horse to “walk on.”

With no confidence in themselves, it is confidence in the one who leads them which spurs a horse to overcome their fear of those things which seem insurmountable.  I continue to be amazed at these  majestic creatures who are obviously clueless of their own strength.  Even one mild kick of their hoof would obliterate any of the obstacles that oftentimes render them paralyzed, balking in fear.

The trust that exists between a horse and its rider is one that has been developed over long rides, long talks and sometimes long battles of the will.  A skilled equestrian is one who has worked with their four legged friend faithfully and patiently enough to assure them that they will never lead them into danger.  A horse was created to feel most comfortable when it is being led.  The one who leads must endure the process of proving themselves confident, consistent and courageous enough for both of them when courage is in question.

As a child of God I can identify with an all around fear of the unknown.  So much more comfortable to me are those things which are familiar, safe and known.  And yet, life continues to be one great big “Gambler’s Choice” event.  One unknown obstacle after another presents itself before me.  Often I balk at that which seems insurmountable, sometimes paralyzed even by fear.  And yet, consistently, it is my reliance upon the one who leads me that helps me overcome each time.  I tend to forget 1 John 4:4 which states “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Whatever obstacle is set before you Child of God, be encouraged…the one who leads you loves you more than you could ever fathom.  He is trustworthy and faithful and as you submit to His leading, you will be strengthened by the Joy which you find in Him.

Father, thank you for your Holy Spirit which leads and guides me into all truth.

Leave a comment

Filed under Analogies, Relationship, Trust