Do you remember Corrie ten Boom, Holocaust survivor and best-selling author of the book, The Hiding Place? She lived through one of the most painful and traumatic experiences in history and out of her heart grew an encyclopedia of wisdom. I guess today, we would go to Wikipedia to learn about her life, but I’m in awe of her courage and stamina in facing her trials with audacious faith – then later revealing them with such passion and sincerity. Corrie said “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
The incidents of this past week have impressed upon me the way it is with life. There are periods of storms, long days and exhaustion. We’re stuck for a time in a dark spell, but then we see light and go toward it with all the reserves we have left. We come to realize there is a hiding place, a refuge from the storm, a place inside where it’s safe and there is light and hope.
In the dark days, faith leads us to that place where we can lay our burdens down, unlock the shackles that hold us back, and live with joy whose source is the giver or life itself, omniscient God. Psalm 143:1 says “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness, come to my relief.” Does this mean, like a burn, when you apply ice, there is instant relief? No, but it’s like the burn when you take the ice away. The consequence of the burn is still there, but there’s progress.
Thousands of years ago, Jesus asked his disciples why they were afraid, why was their faith so small. I ask myself that today. Why do I stay outside in the storm where I’m aimlessly tossed around and thrown in every direction? God provides a place of peace, and hope, when I follow him there’s a pathway with light as the Psalmist wrote “a lamp to my feet and light to my path”. In this life there are storms, but up ahead there is refuge, there is hope. I’ve summarized 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness … [we] are children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness …we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Encourage one another and build each other up.”
Faith is everything. Let’s wrap ourselves in it as we enter this new day. The best thing we can do for each other is build each other up in the faith that only God gives. Life is a contact sport, and sometimes we get beat up pretty badly, but that’s why God gives us His peace, He loves us with everlasting love, and to make it easier, He gives us relationships with people who come along side us to remind us that we matter.
My hope is that above all the circumstances, we recognize that God is in the details, his plan is sovereign. My desire is to have a heart for God and live my faith out loud.