Where do you turn to in times of trouble? It’s quite a revelation to watch little children interact with their parents. Whenever a little child is in distress, that child will turn towards a parent and look up with lifted arms, expectantly waiting to be picked up and comforted. In such a case, the parent’s most eloquent response is to bend down, pick the child up and hold them close to reassure them. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s love.
While visiting Kenya recently, I stopped by a local shopping center in the western part of the country. As I looked around the shops, I observed a woman emerging from a tiny kiosk with a young girl, about five years old, carrying a book bag on her back. As I watched them, the woman bent down and whispered something in the girl’s ear, simultaneously pointing towards a building which was about half a mile down the road. With that, the little girl began to run. I stood there glued to the scene, fascinated to see such a tiny child running such a long distance on her own. I watched her frame grow smaller and smaller as the distance between her and her mother increased. Occasionally, this precious child would slow down and begin to walk and her mother, who kept her eyes on her the whole time, would shout encouragingly, “Keep running, you’re almost there.” With every shout, the young girl who never once looked back, would once again break into a jog. Finally, she made it! As she turned into the building that her mother had pointed out to her earlier, the woman went back into her kiosk to serve her customers.
Rev. John Hagee, the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas once said, great faith is the product of great fights. One does not have great faith unless, you have engaged the spiritual enemy over and over and won the victory. Great faith is borne on the battlefield of life when your very existence spiritually and physically is threatened. Great faith does not demand miracles; it produces miracles. It is the kind of faith that starts out without knowing how things will turn out.
Over the last few months, I’ve heard a certain phrase used repeatedly, “You do you!” It is often stated with such emphasis as though to convince the hearer of its ultimate wisdom and truth. On the one hand, God created you to be unique, no one else is like you, so go ahead and be you. However, the modern take on this phrase goes further, it gives one the license to be a free spirit, no matter where that spirit takes one. In other words, in this modern era, people are free to be and do whatever pleases them. Whatever feels good to you, go ahead and do it. However you want to show up in the world, go ahead and be it. No one has a right to an opinion concerning your lifestyle because it is your life. On the surface, this is a tempting proposition.
Our current world is fraught with danger; fraught with pettiness and rumors; fraught with worry and all manner of ugliness and confusion. I would even dare say; a perfect storm is brewing. It is easy to get carried away by the sludge; it is easy to get immune to the wickedness. It is easy to want to withdraw from it all and pretend, it will all go away quietly. It is quite easy to normalize this corrosive, oppressive, unsound and ungodly environment. In fact this is what the devil hopes we will do. But God is looking for those who will be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12) in spite of the storm.