Letting go of memories
And walking on alone
Is a lesson God must teach
To show us we’re not home
But if we’re clinging tightly to
What we possess today
God reminds that up ahead
Our children watch our way
And learn from us how they should live
By the time we give to them
How in letting we’re reaching out
And holding on to Him
Letting Go and Reaching Out by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright 2022 all rights reserved
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 ESV
Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. Psalm 77:19 ESV
Once when I was a teenager, I was wondering what it must have been like for Peter to walk on the water, so I dangled my foot over the edge of a pool and put it lightly on the surface. Immediately I decided that his faith must have been a lot stronger than mine! When I read about God’s footprints, I am always reminded of that moment. Interestingly, the idea of going across water is repeated three times in the Bible. First, we see this when the Israelites were cornered with their back to the Red Sea and the Egyptian army in hot pursuit, God had Moses lift His staff over the waters and He sent a wind to blow till the sea parted till in the morning His people were able to cross on dry ground. With soldiers chasing them on chariots, this seemed an obvious choice! Then, forty years the children of Israel came to another water crossing. It was at the Jordan River, and this time they needed to cross if they were to enter the promised land. At the Red Sea, God parted the waters for them, but this time the priests had to walk down to the water’s edge and actually get their feet wet. Then, the water suddenly stopped flowing and everyone crossed. Though this challenged the faith of the priests, it was still a pretty easy choice for everyone else. But the third time we see God’s footprints is an entirely different affair. This time we find the disciples in a boat being tossed on rough seas on a dark night. Suddenly out on top of the dark waters they see someone walking across the waves coming towards them. These guys were all terrified. Then, Jesus called out, “Don’t be afraid, it is I” Sure we know that Peter made a stab at some water walking himself that night. What amazes me most is not Peter’s ability to defy gravity, but that he left an example for us to follow if we are to walk by faith with a God who leaves His invisible footprints in the sea!
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13b ESV
Temptation is a bit like the telephone solicitor who begins the call by exclaiming, “Don’t hang up! I’m not trying to sell you anything!” It doesn’t seem to faze them how many times we say, “no thank you,” or “I’m really not interested.” They are determined to sell us something that we don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford. Jesus warned us that in this world we would face all kinds of temptation solicitors.” So, the question is not whether temptation has our number, but rather, what we should do when it calls.
Today’s verse says, that when we are tempted, God will give us a way of escape. Escaping, conjures up in my mind a picture of flinging open the door and running away as fast as I can. But what God really wants from us is not a fearful footrace, but a cheerful acceptance. God has something far grander in mind than learning to grin and bear it. Jesus tells us to have joy because He has already overcome the problems we are in even before we face them.
“But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 b
So, I asked myself this morning. “What if – instead of complaining- what if joy was God’s plan of escape? What if, “For the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross?” What if I celebrated, when I was mistreated? What if I praised instead of complained? What might happen if I chose joy and found, God’s amazing and mysterious way of escape? What if joy is the stream in the desert and a waterfall of life that flows by the path of faith God chose for me today?