Today’s guest post is by Marcia Lee Laycock
The day couldn’t have been more lovely, the sun sparkling on the lake, the beach slowly filling with families. A little red-haired girl caught my attention. She stood still on the shore, her small head bent over something in her hand. She started forward, stopped and peered at her hand, took a few more steps and stopped again. As she approached, I could see a moth cupped in her palm. She tilted her hand each time it moved, stopped when it crawled dangerously close to the edge and moved slowly forward when it was secure. Eventually the little girl reached her parent, holding her hand out for her mother to admire the precious treasure.
My delight in watching that little girl deepened as I realized God had just given me a picture of Himself. His care for each one of us is no less complete than the careful protection she provided for that small moth. Isaiah 46:4(b) says “I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” God holds us in His hand and takes great care to keep us there. In John 17:12, as Jesus prays to His Father on our behalf, He says “I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost …”
Like that child who was so pleased with her treasure, Jesus delights in presenting us to His Father. In John 17, He asked his Father to protect us, to set us apart from the evil in the world and draw us into a complete relationship with Himself. He says “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
How incredible to think God loves us as much as he does His own Son!
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from Alberta Canada where she lives with her pastor/husband. She is the author of two contemporary novels, four fantasy novels, and four devotional books. Visit her online at www.marcialeelaycock.com
It was an interesting sensation. The sand was damp and jiggled under my feet as though I was walking on a bed of gelatin.
My beach shoes had been torn a few days earlier when I tripped over some wood stuck in the sand. The holes were getting larger and wet sand was oozing in around my toes.
It was unpleasant and I decided to turn back. The squishing as I walked was uncomfortable and I stepped into the water to clean my feet. As I stood, watching the clear water of the waves wash over my feet, removing the dirt, I had a revelation.
It was as though I felt the Holy Spirit telling me this was how my sins were washed away. All I needed to do was to be willing to step out and invite the cleansing flow to wash over me. When I confess my sins to the Lord, he is faithful and just to forgive them and to cleanse me.
Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 GWT)
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us, (1 John 1:9 GWT)
I had just returned from a walk along a tropical beach. This is not a groomed for tourists beach, but one in its natural state.
For this reason I needed to watch my step. Small fishing boats are held by ropes secured on the shore. The rope may be flat on the sand and not easy to see. The breeze tosses the boat, the rope becomes taught, and if I’m in the process of stepping over it, I may be tripped.
There are also remains of sand bags protruding from the sand. Some are easy to see and others are mostly buried. I have stumbled on the torn edges barely visible above the sand but have also been caught by the ones clearly visible.
It’s one thing to be tripped by an obstacle I can’t see and quite another to see the potential problem and still get caught.
I was thinking about being aware of my surroundings and watching my step when I realized this same attitude would serve me well in life. It’s when I become overconfident in my own abilities I tend to trip.
On our walks, my husband often tells me, “Watch your step.” His guidance has helped to keep me from harm.
In my life I rely on Jesus to guide me. He watches my steps. When my attention is elsewhere he catches me when I stumble and sets my feet firmly beneath me once again.
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:24 NIV)
The tide was out and I was able to walk along the firm sand at the water’s edge, rather than the softer sand a little farther inland. I strolled along enjoying the morning sun and the clear water lapping beside me.
Without warning, the sand beneath my feet collapsed. Wet sand oozed through the fabric of my beach shoes and reached to my ankles.
When I looked around I realized that this area appeared the same as the one I had just walked along. Nothing was visible to warn me that my next step would be on shifting sand.
How is this a reflection of my life? One minute I’m carrying on, doing what is familiar and then without warning the landscape changes. It seems as if the ground under my feet has become unstable, no longer firm and secure. I look for a solid spot for my next step but am unsure where to find it.
People and things are fleeting. We may start out with the best intentions but can’t or don’t always follow through.
The only firm foundation I know is to put my trust in Jesus. He is the solid rock beneath my feet. I know that my steps are secure when Jesus is guiding them.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27 NLT)