Sunday, May 28, 2017

Steady the Knees that Give Way....An Admonition to Stay the Course with God

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you."
Isaiah 35: 3-4 

By accident, I found a new park yesterday where I could launch my kayak into the beautiful Catawba River. Right before that happy event, I delivered a Ninja Blender that was donated by a lovely Cities4Life supporter to a precious woman, L, who chose life. L has endured many struggles recently because of her stand for Jesus and for life. She told me that she was weak, and the fact that we cared more for her unborn child than she did was pivotal in reminding her about God and in choosing life. Then, out of the blue, the wonderful supporter of our ministry gave me the blender to bless one of the moms with whom I work.

(On a side note, another supporter sent me money last week and asked me to give it to a mom who chose life who has been championing the pro-life cause with us at various speaking engagements. That mom told me the money arrived at a critical moment of need. Praise God for His people who hear His voice!)

L was teary-eyed when I gave her the blender. Life is not easy for her, but she is determined to walk with God now. Since she did not live far from where I kayak, I dropped off the blender and then set my GPS to take me to my regular launch site. However, on the way, I passed a sign for River Creek Park. 

That sounded promising!

I turned down the tangle of roads that led to a gorgeous park with a beautiful kayak launch. It was further north than my usual launch site, so I had the joy of exploring a whole new section of the river. 

I kayaked and prayed for the many women with whom I work who chose life over abortion. So many are in crisis. Some are in crisis because of terrible choices, but this particular one to whom I gave the blender was in crisis because of her decision to follow God. I cannot give details. Suffice to say, it caused angst and soul-searching in me.

As I meandered along a beautiful creek that sprouted off the main river, I saw a stick that I thought was a snake. I panicked for a moment, but then realized it was just a stick. I almost cut my kayak adventure short because of the threat of a snake that wasn't even a snake! Sometimes that which is good and that which is bad is hard to discern, particularly when we are alone and vulnerable. Truth gets obscured by despair and our ability to see clearly is clouded and distorted.

Meanwhile, I thought about the verse I had read that morning, quoted at the top of the blog. It applied perfectly to L who is struggling for doing the right thing. I also thought of Ragnar, my grand-dog whose visit with us ends today. I had taken him on a long walk yesterday morning. My goal with all energetic dogs who reside with me for any length of time is to exhaust them. Otherwise, that energy can become destructive. So I walked till he stopped dragging me behind him. It took five miles.

The first few seconds of our five-mile walk. Note the lack of appropriate "heel" position of energetic dog

The end of our five-mile walk. Note the appropriate "heel" position of tired dog
Later that day, he barely moved. When he stood up, he seemed stiff, and sore. Oh no. I had overdone it with the poor pup! A few hours later, he had recovered, but I will do a little less walking today. The walks are good for him, and he is a breed that can and should get a lot of exercise. However, since he is not used to it, it is a struggle to do what his body is designed to do.

The same thing is true of our walk with God. We are designed to walk in obedience to God every step of the way. However, when we have not for a very long time, those first new steps with Him are not always easy. The repercussions of a history of NOT doing what we should have been doing can reverberate for a long time. I think that is what L is currently experiencing as she tries to follow Christ.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't walk with God. It means expect there to be bumps in the road, struggles from the sins that have accumulated, and pain as we adjust to the new life.

But it is worth it. Don't give up.

When Ragnar's weariness subsided, he was at the door again, begging to start anew. That is the right attitude.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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