March 2004

This months:

Thought: Resting Securely
Story: I Know
Homeschool Tip: Traveling Home
Hymn/Poem: He Will Hide Thee

Resting Securely

A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing. The words of this classic hymn, penned by Martin Luther approximately five hundred years ago, struck me the other day in an entirely new way. Id never really pictured God as a mighty fortress before, but the more I thought about it, the more accurate and meaningful the analogy became.

When we surrender ourselves to Christ, we enter His care, His fortress, so to speak. Just picture yourself nestled inside an impregnable fortification. Nothing can touch you without first passing through the sturdy walls around you. Youre forever safe and secure. Youre hemmed in on all sides by Gods love!

Gods love never changes. Its immovable. Not even our disobedience or dullness affects Gods love. I used to picture myself safe in Gods keeping only when I did things right. What a an inaccurate picture! Once weve surrendered our lives to God and entered His salvation, we are eternally secure. Neither height nor depth nor our failures can separate us from His love.

Yet we can, and sadly do, miss out on the joy of resting securely in His care. The pressures of this world start to pummel us. Forgetting that nothing touches us without going through God and carrying a blessing from our Father, we start getting upset, angry, worried, and bitter. We take our eyes off God and put them on the human beings who appear to be the instigators of our difficulties. We act as though were not surrounded by Gods love.

For example, just the other week I sprained my ankle. I at first felt upset and dejected. This sprain totally ruined my elaborate weekend plans! Yet when I finally stopped looking at the situation and remembered my loving, all-knowing God had allowed me to sprain my ankle, peace came. Remembering my Fathers impregnable love surrounded me enabled me to rest securely despite the change in my plans.

Resting securely is a constant choice. Will you rest today in Gods care, or will you worry and resent the trials and dilemmas you face? Stop worrying, stop struggling, and stop simply existing on your own. Stop and rest securely.

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I Know

"Well, well, what happened here," the doctor remarked, half to himself and half to the soldier lying in the hospital cot.

The soldier blinked a swollen, bruised eye open and forced a crooked, bloody smile. "I'm hurt," he muttered. "They bandaged me up a few days ago, but I still dont feel very good."

"That I can see," the doctor muttered as he began examining his patient. "But I'm still perplexed by how you were injured. I thought your whole regiment had been summoned to the fort."

The soldier groaned. "We had."

"Then, pardon my curiosity, but how did you get all scraped up and shot?"

"I fought."

"Outside the fort?"

The soldier nodded.

"Didn't you know the general summoned everyone into the fort?"

"Oh, I knew," the soldier confessed.

"Didn't you know of the danger of remaining outside?"

"Oh, I knew."

"Didn't you know it was your duty, not to mention your privilege to obey?"

"I knew." After each confession, the soldiers face grew more and more crimson.

"Did you not have time to get to the fort?" the doctor tried again, fishing for a valid reason why this poor soldier lay wounded before him.

"No, I had plenty of time. I just didn't go," the soldier finally admitted.

"Didn't go?" the doctors voice expressed his surprise. "Didn't you believe the general's order?"

"I-I thought I believed," the soldier sounded strangely bewildered.

"But?" persisted the doctor.

"But I wanted to fight for the general. I thought I could serve him better outside the fort, fighting. I fought so hard. I--" a cough terminated his sentence.

The doctor stared at the misguided soldier. "I thought I heard you just say that you knew you'd been commanded to run to the fort, yet you remained outside?"

The soldier glanced the other direction. He could not bear the doctors penetrating gaze. "Yes," he finally whispered.

The doctor shook his head sadly. "I hope you've learned your lesson, young man. When the general says, come don't wait another minute. Don't try and serve him your way. You'll end up beaten and bruised every time."

"I know," the solider agreed. "And from now on, I'll live like I know."

The doctor smiled. "That's the only kind of knowing that counts."

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened... Matthew 11:28 NIV

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Traveling Home

Youre traveling home. The light in front of you suddenly turns yellow. Should you punch it or stop? This common split second decision can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Thinking about my children making this decision used to unnerve me a little, especially when in the passengers seat, until the day a yellow light interrupted our ride home.

My daughter chose to stop in plenty of time. The landscaping truck behind us, however, decided to punch it. As I looked in my mirror I could see the truck speeding up. I braced myself for the impact, knowing the truck could not avoid hitting us. Then, in shock, I witnessed Gods mighty powerthe truck sailed by my window with one side of his wheels on the little raised median and the other side of wheels still on the road less than an inch from our car. How he fit between us and the light pole at such an angle still baffles me.

The truck did not hit us, but the realization that God has my life in His hands did. Of course I had always known that God was in control of my life, but my apprehension every time I rode in the passenger seat revealed to me that I was not living like I really believed this truth. If I had, I would have always felt as safe as I did at that moment. Had I forgotten that God is watching over the details of my life? Had I been hearing Gods Word, but failing to put it into action?

Driving in the passenger seat since that event has been a new experience for me. Even the ride home that day was full of joy and assurance in Gods ability to see us home. I am no longer apprehensive and relying on my ability or my childrens ability (at least while driving). I can rest--God is in control of my life!

The knowledge that Gods watching over each step you make should give a new lift to your homeschool endeavors. If youve put your life in Gods hands, He is really driving you and your children each day. Are you letting Him drive, or are you trusting your ability to educate your children, their ability to learn, or your curriculum choice? Do your hidden fears and actions reveal thoughts that are short of trust in God? Are you worried that your children are not excelling academically? Or are you proud that they are? Are you comparing yourself to what others are doing? Is God really in charge of your schedule, or are you? As I just shared, knowing a truth from Gods Word falls short of living that truth. Dont miss out on the joy of living Gods Word. Let Him change you. Only He is capable of getting you home safely.

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He Will Hide Thee By James S. Apple

Why art thou fearful, beloved of the Lord?
Jesus will tenderly guide thee,
Heir to his kingdom remember his word,
Safe in the Rock he will hide thee.

Why art thou fearful, when trials are deep?
Jesus will tenderly guide thee,
Over thy footsteps a watch he will keep,
Safe in the Rock he will hide thee.

Why art thou fearful, he holdeth thy hand?
Jesus will tenderly guide thee,
Safe till thou enter eternitys land,
Safe in the Rock he will hide thee.

From Living Hymns, For use in the Sabbath school, Christian Endeavor Meetings, The Church and Home. Compiled by John Wanamaker, assisted by John R. Sweney, Mus. Doc. Philadelphia: John J. Hood, 1024 Arch St. Copyright, 1890, by John J. Hood. Pg. 16

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Unless otherwise indicated, all articles written and copyrighted by Katherine Loop, 2004. To sign up to receive these free monthly emails each month, please click here.