(borrowed from Victoria Riollano)
The lights started to flicker. Before long, the slight flickering turned into a multi-county power outage. On a chilly day in January, what started off as a small snowstorm turned into a family emergency. The first day with no power, cell services down, and no heat source was uncomfortable, to say the least. That night, my family bundled in layers and prayed that we would soon get relief from the 30-degree house. Yet, with the estimated time for power restoration being a week and downed trees covering the streets, it was certain we needed to find a place of refuge quickly.
The next day, with the help of many neighbors, we managed to get our 13-passenger van out of our icy snow-trapped home. With no family in sight and all our friends in the same predicament, we knew we had to go, but certainly didn’t know where. All we knew was that the Lord prompted us to leave quickly to keep everyone from getting very sick. With little money and no hotel in sight, we simply drove away and trusted in the Lord.
As we traveled for hours in traffic and icy roads, I was reminded of the story of Abraham. In Genesis 12, Lord speaks to Abraham and says, “Leave your land and go to a place I will show you.” I can only imagine how unsettling it was to pick up and suddenly go. Leaving his place of comfort and having no real direction, Abraham had to trust God with every aspect of his journey. He had to trust him for provision. He had to trust him for protection. Abraham was a perfect example of walking and changing his entire life by faith! Hebrews 11:8 says it like this, By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (NIV). Today, the Lord is searching for those who, like Abraham, will make a choice to follow when it’s not easy. Abraham’s obedience set the platform for many to be blessed. I believe we’ve all found ourselves in this position of having to trust God in a big way. Maybe the Lord was leading you to a new job or out of a toxic relationship? Perhaps, He asked you to go back to school or start a business. In these moments, we seem to have more questions than answers. Do we leave our place of comfort or step out on faith? Do we risk failing or trust the Lord for success? I want to encourage you with this: the Lord will never lead you somewhere to leave you stranded! There will be many times when we won’t know all the details. Yet, there is comfort in knowing that He does. We can walk in pure confidence that He will take care of us, no matter what the circumstance.
That wintry week taught us a powerful lesson. Though the power outage was unexpected for us, it wasn’t for God. As expected, He took care of everything. He helped us to get to the only available hotel within 50 miles. He sent family members and church members who willingly sent money to us, without being asked. When it was all over, every day of the hotel was paid, the food for our family of nine was covered. Even the gas money needed was provided. Once again, the Lord showed that we could trust Him for our every need. Certainly, we can trust Him as we go through the unforeseen trials and the unknown places. Like Abraham, may we be brave and move when He tells us, even when we don’t know all the details
Prepared for Warfare
This month has been dedicated to our spiritual warfare. Therefore, each week we will look at a different aspect of this war. This week our message centers around a common nemesis to us all. The message is entitled “The Demon Within.” We all struggle with our old nature in our quest to live a godly life in Christ. This war must rage within us - without ceasing. The moment we settle and become content with who we are, it is then that Satan takes advantage of this ground and reclaims us as his own. Therefore, Paul warns us to daily dress ourselves in our spiritual armor before beginning our day. As the people of God, we cannot afford to lower our guard and take this enemy for granted. Let us always remember to remain faithful to the one who died for us!
Dare to Look Forward
Within human nature, when the future looks uncertain, there is a tendency to take solace in looking behind at what we have accomplished instead of what lies ahead. Fortunately, we dare not drive our vehicles like that. We have a windshield, and we have a rearview mirror. The rearview mirror is small and is meant only provide us with a quick glimpse of where we have come from. However, in front of us, is a large windshield that provides a clear view of where we are going. The design of this windshield is to allow us to focus unobstructed on our destination without the distractions of things behind us. Both are important to our journey, however because their purposes are opposite, the one in which we spend most of our time will define the success of our journey. There is comfort and security in the rearview mirror because it is the place where we have already been, however there is no progress from this mirror. The windshield contains the unknown, and although this can be tension-filled in moments when we are uncertain where we are going, or if road conditions are bad, each roll of the tires can be filled with stress. That is our dilemma. Either we face the unknown and reach our destination, or we spend our time in the safety of our rearview mirror. In life, as well as in driving, looking forward can be scary because of uncertainty, however we can never make progress towards our destination unless we are willing to take the risk and put our focus on the windshield. Let us always dare to look forward regardless of what lies ahead. By putting our faith and trust in God, we will reach our destination