Written by Peggy Lundy - Heartland Church of Fort Wayne
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)
When my son was a child, he didn’t mind holding my hand on the way into the store. But when I turned toward the groceries, and he turned toward the toys, the hand holding became restrictive instead of comforting.
How often do we feel the same when God holds our hand? His connection and care feel safe and reassuring when we think He’s leading us where we want to go. But when He takes us in a different direction, we hesitate, we balk, we pull away. We insist on continuing in the direction we were headed. Sometimes, we argue and remind Him of His promises, as if He tricked us into going with Him in the first place.
He stands there, like the patient Father He is, waiting for us to choose. Will we trust Him, take His hand and follow Him? Will we conquer our fear of the unknown, set aside our disappointment, and believe He has only good in store for us? Or will we head off on our own, away from His side, away from His protection, and away from His provision? Are we that determined to get what we want? Will our impatience win the day?
His word to us today is the same as it was to the ancient Judeans, “Don’t be afraid. I will help you.” He will help us overcome our disappointment. He will even help us break free from our stubborn independence. And He will most certainly help us exchange our fear of the future with eager anticipation for each new day. Just let Him hold your hand.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for taking hold of my hand. You are my help and the conqueror of my fears.
Photo courtesy of Marilyn Comer
Written by Fr. Dale Minor - The Reclaim Ministry
If you are a father, perhaps you have fond memories of your children learning to talk. Perhaps their mother pointed to you and asked them, “Who is this?” Maybe it took some prompting; “Is that daddy?” before you finally heard the word, “Dada.” Later, there may have been a time when you went to pick your child up at a playground or at school and someone pointed to you and asked, “Who is that man?” and you heard the words proudly spoken, “That’s my Dad!”
It is a natural thing, in most households, for a solid and loving relationship to develop between father and son or father and daughter, a relationship often expressed with pride; “that’s my son,” or “that’s my Dad.” And such a relationship is best developed in the example of God as being our Father. It is not by accident that we look to the heavens, seek out the Creator of the universe, try to define that which is beyond what no human mind can fully perceive, and call Him Father. For that word defines what we really desire of our earthly fathers, -- the one who can fix all hurts, heal all wounds, teach all things, offer wise counsel, and above all, hold us close and let us know we are loved. Yes, we know that our fathers aren’t supermen. At least, after we have matured a little ourselves, we know this. But for most of us, they are super. -- “That’s him, He’s my Dad!”
We never get too old to need our fathers. How many of us have, after losing our fathers, thought to ask a simple question and instinctively reached for the phone; or, how many times have we driven by their old home, just to see if he might be sitting on the porch waiting for us to stop by?”
Shortly before her death in 1989, TV comedian and personality, Lucille Ball, did a TV interview with Merv Griffin. He asked her a very serious and pointed question: "Lucille, you’ve lived a long time on this earth and you are a wise person. What’s happened to our country? What’s wrong with our children? Why are our families falling apart? What’s missing?"
Lucille Ball answered without hesitation: "Papa’s missing. Things are falling apart because Papa’s gone. If Papa were here, he would fix it."
We just seem to know that our Dad can fix what is broken in us. While there are literally dozens of verses in scripture pointing to the importance, the responsibility and authority of the father, perhaps in no place do we find a more direct and poignant example of the father than in Luke 15, in the story of the prodigal son. After this man’s son had acted foolishly and sinfully, in short, after he had become a big disappointment to his father, and after finding himself destitute and starving; this son decided to “face the music,” as it were. He realized more than anything else, he needed to talk to his Dad. Then in verses 20-24 we find these words. “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
You know the story, the father did not condemn his son, but celebrated; for, as he said in verse 24, “This is my son who was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.”
The story goes on to speak of the reaction of the “prodigal’s” brother and their father’s counsel to him. But it says no more about the redeemed son’s thoughts or actions. So, let us imagine that, later that night, this son might have looked in on his father, now sleeping peacefully, and then looked to the heavens to see the glory of the universe and spoke some very important and healing words from his heart: -- “That’s my Dad!”
Written by Allison Gardner - Heartland Church of Fort Wayne
“You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.” Psalm 119:114
Scrolling, reading, and watching. News that changes moment by moment. It feels so easy to sink into all the information, to pick up and shoulder all the worries, all the while waiting for the next tidbit of news, the next headline.
Instead of waiting in trepidation for the next announcement, what if we wait in the Word? When we can’t control the world around us (and that’s pretty much always), what if we stop waiting for the next ball to drop and instead wait for His presence to fall? Instead, wait for His Word to saturate us, fill us to overflowing.
Wait in the Word. Wait in worship. I don’t know what you are waiting for, but here is a good place to camp out as you wait.
He IS peace. He IS life. He IS breath. He IS I am. He is your friend, your Father, your hope, and your provider. He is your path, your strength, your guide, and your protection. His Word is the greatest love story, the most powerful weapon, the answer to every question, and the light to your path. He is our redeemer, our rightousness, our renewer and restorer. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is a strong tower, a light in the darkness, truth, and justice. There is power in His name, comfort in His presence, and healing through His sacrifice. He IS good. He IS for you. Hope in Him. Wait in His Word.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You are all we need. Thank You that Your timing is perfect, and Your plan is sovereign. Be with us in the waiting. Thank You for Your Word. It is what we need. Amen.