June 14

“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32

Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.

Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord? Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Streams in the Desert)

We enjoyed a visit last night from a grand daughter while her mother took her sister to riding lessons down the “S” curve and up the blacktop from our home. Hannah B walked in wearing a purple toboggan adorned with Disney ‘Frozen’ patch, t-shirt, shorts, and rainbow colored sandals; our family’s very own Punky Brewster. The toboggan was more than slightly out-of-place as it was warmer than 90 degrees outside when she arrived.

Hannah likes to draw, so our first order of business was to walk hand-in-hand outside to my office located in the north end of our barn, in order to gather the necessary art supplies. I went inside for paper, and on the way out my grand daughter touched the rough barn-wood door and collected a splinter in the end of one of her pudgy fingers. I learned on the spot that splinters and Hannah cannot casually co-exist. I attempted to calm her by assuring her in between sobs that I am a professional splinter remover. She wasn’t buying it. Each time I maneuvered tweezers near the black speck in her fingertip, she wailed and jerked her hand away. She obviously did not trust that I held her best interest at heart, and preferred the splinter to my rescue efforts. I finally did what all self-respecting grandfathers do in just such a situation—I sent her to her grandmother.

Much later, long after Hannah had left for home (with blue masking tape around her finger) and my wife was in bed, I sat on our front porch and contemplated life and the universe to the gentle swaying motion of our glider rocker. I smiled and shook my head in the dark as I thought of Hannah’s revulsion at my efforts as first-responder, but admitted out loud to no one in particular that I recognized in her reaction my own faith failures. I confess I do not know God well enough to believe He always chooses what is best for me. Distrust is a powerful force that repels the One who loves me most and wants only good for me. I am unwilling to endure momentary discomfort of removing unnecessary habits and hurtful attitudes, preferring to wrap my fears in masking tape rather than trust a loving Father to tenderly take away the toxic things that conjure pain and poison my heart. Trust results from nothing less than intimate knowledge of the Father’s perfect love.

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