Sunday, February 14, 2010

Devotional -Snapshot 7 - Fear

"...he who does not ...anticipate future evil till it comes, suffers it but once, while he who is always anticipating it, suffers it as many times over as he thus thinks upon it." John Angell James Evangelical Gleanings

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:7-12

I am in Portland, Oregon on a strange highway in a borrowed car. Was supposed to find the 242 exit, but missed it. As I traveled east the river grew broader and closer to the road. The trees loomed higher and closer together, sweeter air, more country, less houses, less exits off the road, and I could enjoy none of it because I was lost.

How would I ever get turned around? Headed to "who knows where"? (The last sign said Mt. Hood - 46 miles)

Finally a travel center information sign said left lane. So left lane I went. The travel center turned out to be only boards with maps on them, no official, but people were everywhere. I began asking strangers directions. They assured me to head back west and I would find my way.

Okay, that's all I could do. But I paused to look around. So many people, the roar of water. Then I saw a glimpse not too far away - gorgeous waterfalls rushing over the mountain side - only a brief walk. It would by silly to stumble on so beautiful a place and not stay long enough to look.

Multnomah Falls - one of Portland's attractions! I followed the path so many others were sauntering on. The closer I got the more spectacular. I walked to the rail and peered up, up, up. I felt the spray of cool, moist air on my face, listened to the roar of water and happy chatter of people around me. A peace settled on my fragile, fearful heart as the Lord spoke: "See, I take care of you in the detours."

Over and over I pondered those words as I rested in the beauty of God's creation. I am never out of God's reach, God's care, God's plan.

"If I ascend into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." Ps. 139:8-10

There was a very big lesson to be had in my lostness. One I will need to remember again and again. I'm always trying to stay safe; safe with people, safe in traffic, safe on planes, sure and safe in God's will. But even in wrong turns, bumps in the road, a missed exit sign, an unexpected detour, I am safe in God's care. My life should have no place for fear. The Lord says: "See, I take care of you in detours."

Confess your fears and ask God to make you able to trust Him more.

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