Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

When I was a kid, my sister and I loved to compete. We would find a way to make anything into a race or a competition, just to keep life interesting. I remember one time when I was about three or four years old and we were on a trip to the mall. My parents were shopping for essentials at the baby store, so their minds were occupied on something other than my “well-behaved” sister and me. My sister, who is just a year older than I am, looked at me and sparked my competitive nature when she said “I’ll race you to the toys section.” Challenge accepted! I was off–eat my toddler dust big sister. I was determined to win.

Now, as I reflect on this moment, I don’t know if the store was actually huge or if I just remember it that way because I was small…but the toy section was not as easy to find as I had thought when I took on the challenge. Once I realized that I didn’t know where I was or where my sister was, my toddler self began to panic–I was lost! Luckily, my parents had taught me what to do if I ever got lost in the store. As tears filled my eyes, I made my way up to the nice lady behind the check-out stand and told her I had lost my family. Over the loud speaker she burst out my parents’ names and they rushed through the walk of shame to scoop me up into their arms again. I was safe again.

I wish I could say that was the first and last time I ever felt so afraid and alone, but it’s not. Those are emotions all of us experience frequently throughout our lives. That’s why the Bible is full of God reminding us not to fear because he is with us. He doesn’t want us to forget that because He knows how it feels without that reassurance–and it isn’t pleasant. However, there is peace that comes when we see what God wants to do in the midst of our fear and vulnerability. He knows what He is doing and He is really good at what He does. However, sometimes we hold too tightly to things that are not (of?) God. We listen to voices that send us in directions that do not align with God’s plan. In those times, His truth remains. He is with us and what He has in store for us is so great!

When I was a child, I didn’t trust that my parents would get me to the toy section fast enough, so I went my own way. I wish I could say that I have left those childish ways behind me, but sometimes I do the same thing with the plans of my Heavenly Father. I fear that He will not take me where I want to go fast enough, if at all. I don’t trust that He knows what He is doing, so I cut corners and make my own path. However, walking down that path always leads me into fear and loneliness because I have taken my eyes off of the Source of my strength and my peace.

QUESTION 1. To where or what has God been calling you lately?
QUESTION 2. What is keeping you from trusting Him completely?
CHALLENGE: Stop cutting corners and trust the path God has set before you. Walk with Him on it!
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