But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Our little friend was pretty much ignored by shoppers but he sang as if he knew that he was not forgotten by God. This morning Jesus sees our anxious thoughts and waits patiently for us to sing one more day!
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
Psalms 139:7 NKJV
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” Matthew 14:28-29a
The Osprey are a large fish-eating raptor which is not exactly either an eagle or a hawk. One thing that seems unique is their habit of building a large nest and then continuing to add to that nest year after year. They like to make their nest where they can see in every direction such as a dead tree or a utility pole. Sometimes the nest gets so heavy that it can cause the tree top to break and on utility poles they can cause a power outage.
Some of us Christians are a lot like our Osprey friends. We like our big safe nest and don’t venture out unless we are sure the coast is clear. The disciples were no exception. They peered out over the edge of the boat in terror as they saw the form of a man walking out on the waves that night. When Jesus called out for them to not be afraid they really weren’t convinced at all! But Peter came up with an idea that was totally crazy. He called out to the person on the waves, “If that is really you then tell me to come!” See Peter was no longer satisfied just peering over the edge of his nest. He was ready to go anywhere if Jesus called him to go. He may have said the wrong thing at times but his faith urged him to take a risk, to dare everything on the word of Jesus Christ.
Is Jesus calling you to step out of your boat today? We can stay in the nest of safety or we can walk on water to go to Jesus. The choice is yours and mine!
Proverbs 29:19 The fear of man brings a snare but whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe
Sometimes we are so afraid of what people might think that we forget what God has promised. If we allow worries to lead us to low places there hidden on the forest floor is the snare of man. But when we trust in the promises of God He places us safely in the highest place!
Well some of us spread our wings like my friend who is really just catching a bit of sun. But God challenges us to put those wings of faith to work and fly!
I can do all things through Christ wh ICU strengthens me! Philippians 4:13
Robert Frost wrote “Good fences make good neighbors” as his neighbor’s response to him in the poem “Mending Wall”. Frost had wished there were no separations, no boundaries behind which we needed to hide. Yet all of us do need some fences in our lives. Some of our fences were built by our families to protect our lawns and gardens from trampling feet. Most of us are happy to feel the protection of solid walls to protect our savings in the bank. Who doesn’t appreciate and the line of protection we have when we call 911? In this world we will always need fences.
But in the book of Proverbs King Solomon warns us about another kind of fencing.
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe Proverbs 29:25
This is the mental, emotional and spiritual fencing we build because of fear. We erect a fence of words to protect ourselves from what others might think. We run behind a wall of busy holiday preparations to hide from what our family might say. We lean on our position in the community to protect us from what others might do.
But while each of these barriers which we hide behind seems acceptable and yes, even good in our eyes, God tells us that they act as a snare in our lives.We might say that God just isn’t being reasonable. But in fact it is we who are missing on how the snare works. In real life , a snare will catch a bird or small animal only when it is hidden and placed in exactly the path which they are planning to take.When once their foot steps into the noose they discover that they have seen the snare too late!
I stopped this week to consider my own way of talking. I had to confess that sometimes I stretch facts because I am afraid of what others might think if they knew the truth. There have been times when I have omitted something in a document because I feared what might happen if that detail were found out.Or I have failed to call and make up with a friend over an offense which I committed because I was afraid of what they would say. These have all been snares in my life! I had never seen them that way, but my loving Father in heaven did! He came and brushed back the leaves hiding the snares and asked, “What are you afraid of?”
The good news for all of us is that the second half of the verse is God’s unfailing promise. “BUT whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe!” We do not have to be afraid! If instead of worrying about what my friends think, what my neighbors say or what consequences I face I say, “But I trust the Lord” If I were half as concerned about what God might think, say or do as I was about others I could discover the glorious liberty of His true freedom. God will set us free from our snares. God will protect us and will give us safety even in the face of our greatest fears!
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it Psalm 118:24
We may not always remember what day of the week, what month of the year or even what year it is while we are filling out our check in the grocery store. But whether we remember the date, today will always be the Lord’s day. We can long for the past or wish for the future but in quiet rejoicing there is rest.
When we are struggling some people tell us that “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” in an effort to encourage us to go on. But another reality is that yesterday was the last day of the past of your life. That past victory or defeat now sits far beyond our control but our today belongs to Jesus Christ. Yielding moment by moment to Jesus will allow us to experience a joy that comes only at His side!
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling Isaiah 30:14