The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV).
This verse has more depth the older I become. When we are young, we are more likely to take risks, jump in the deep end canon ball style, and look at the unknown as a great adventure. As the years pass, our perspective shifts and often we trade adventurousness for certainty and safety. We calculate, prepare, and purposefully plan. We trade jumping head long with abandonment into the deep end for a slow and cautious wade out, feeling our way tippy toed on the bottom of the pool until swim we must. The bold, enterprising, risky, sometimes recklessness of youth frightens us, or at least flashes yellow through our driver’s window. Change, especially uncertainty breeds insomnia, rapid heart palpations and night sweats. If you have lived long enough, you understand what I am talking about.
I think I have reached the age that I realize how little I really know. The formulas, programs, and education of my youth seem lacking as I face the confused and unpredictable world of today.
Hebrews 11, the great “faith” hall of fame, reminds us that the men and women of old faced great uncertainties as well, yet they persevered. The writer lists the faith of Abel in offering a better sacrifice than Cain; Enoch, who did not experience death; Noah who built an ark in obedience to God’s command; Abraham who was promised a great inheritance, and left his homeland for a foreign country, and the list continues.
Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
“Aliens” and “strangers” …no wonder we feel out of sorts as followers of Christ. This world is not our home. Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to shine His light in the darkness. Take heart. God Himself goes before us! Jesus Christ has won the victory and knows the certainty of tomorrow and the day after that. He is Sovereign and has a plan.
As the great hymn writer by B. B. McKinney reminds us.
Have faith in God tho’ all else fail about you;
Have faith in God, He provides for His own;
He cannot fail tho’ all kingdoms shall perish,
He rules, He reigns upon His throne.
Have faith in God, He’s on His throne;
Have faith in God, He watches o’er His own;
He cannot fail, He must prevail;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.