And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
The youngest came to me with furrowed brows, wearing more concern than clothes. It took me a minute to see what he saw. He pointed under the azalea, but still, I didn’t know what I was looking for, and he didn’t know what to tell me that it was. A snake? I certainly didn’t want to get too close.
And then I saw it. A beautiful, camouflaged moth.
Despite my efforts to assure him that it was safe—no stinger!—and only wanted to sleep, he abandoned his outside play. Really? I asked. You’re going to set aside the fun of building a worm hotel on the driveway because it’s within ten feet of the azalea bush that is the current home of a harmless moth?
Perspective is everything, and to a five-year-old, that strange insect was the cause of concern. No matter how I framed the situation, we saw different pictures. He saw a threat. I saw a cool science opportunity.
What sort of things cause me to fear that are actually—in the perspective of my heavenly Father—harmless?
Without belittling the fears of my son, I must admit, I was frustrated with him. He didn’t need to fear, but I couldn’t convince him of that.
Friends, you know the analogy here. Let’s ask some simple questions and let the Lord speak:
Are you abandoning something that God is calling you to because of fear?
Are you perceiving danger in something when there is none?
Or maybe there is danger, but you need to trust God’s unlimited perspective?
Is fear robbing you from what might be an avenue for joy?
What questions do you see in this analogy?
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
A ruler who brings shelter, streams of water, and shade? This is not the picture we get when we look at worldly kingdoms.
But it is God’s reality. God’s picture of our future.
What refreshing verses to read this morning. What a beautiful picture of safety and security. I want to be in that place. I want to jump right in to those words and find myself surrounded by this utopia.
Are you with me?
This isn’t some far off wisp of a fleeting image. It’s for the here and now as we find ourselves wrapped up in King Jesus. Whatever your dry place, whatever your weary land, you can find peace. Now. Amidst the seen realities of this world, you can hope in the greater realities of the unseen.
Happy birthday, America! I pray God’s blessings on you, for as a Christian, I am to seek the well-being of the land where God has placed me (Jeremiah 29:7). I celebrate the freedom I have found in your borders, and I remember those who fought for that freedom. For freedom is not cheap–politically or spiritually.
As I think of the freedoms of my country, I remember the bedrock of freedom I have in Christ.
And what is this freedom? True and ultimate freedom is:
- Being out from under the curse of sin (Galatians 3:10-11)
- Receiving God’s promise of righteousness by faith (Galatians 3:21-22)
- Found in the Gospel of Christ, not “the different gospel–which is really no gospel at all,” (Galatians 1:6-7). A gospel driven by the approval of men, in other words, popular opinion. A changeable, socially acceptable gospel. And of these men who grant approval, Paul writes, “These people are zealous to win you over, but for no good,” (Galatians 4:17).
- Dying to self and living in Christ (Galatians 2:20).
- A calling in Christ and an invitation to serve others (Galatians 5:13).
- Evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Keeping in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).
Are you grateful for freedom today–both your country’s and your spirit’s?