Saturday, April 29, 2006

Some of our high school folks hiking in a cave way back in April 2004... Posted by Picasa

Our Guide

Man, our weather here in East Tennessee has been so crazy lately! It feels as though the only thing consistent about it is its inconsistency… There have been outrageous storms and tons of rain out of nowhere for days at a time. You never know when you can do yard work, when you can leave the windows down, and you never know when you can go out and enjoy the day with a nice walk without getting caught in a deluge! Although, did you know that there is one outdoor place you can go and hike anytime… rain, snow, sun, hail, thunder and lightning, hot or cold? Know what it is? A cave.

You can go hiking in a cave in any weather at anytime of the year and it will always be around 58 degrees, dry and dark. About two years ago my boy Joe was our guide as we took the high school folks here at church hiking in a cave in Sparta. It was huge, dark and around 58 degrees even though it was fairly warm and rainy outside. When we were pretty deep into that cave I realized that if anything happened to Joe, we were toast! We had already gone through several tunnels and into and through different “rooms” so that I had lost all bearings. I had no idea where we were or where to find light. The good thing was that the quiet dude in the front with the light on his helmet was there, guiding us. He knew where we were, he knew where we were going (well, most of the time) and he was with us.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “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.” Sometimes walking through life is like walking through that cave… it’s dark, cold and full of creepy bats! We don’t always know where we are and we pretty much never know what’s coming. This can lead to confusion, anxiety and all kinds of fears, but we don’t have to feel that stuff! We have a Guide, and our Guide is the Lord Himself! This verse tells us two things not to feel and it gives us two great reasons not to feel them.

It says that we don’t have to be afraid and we don’t have to be discouraged, and the reason is because we are promised two things about our Guide: He goes before us and He will be with us. He goes before us… He is outside time and sees everything in the next five seconds and the next five years. That is called providence. He holds the future! I shouldn’t be discouraged, I should be encouraged because He’s already seen what’s coming and knows everything about it… not only that, He’s in control over everything that’s coming. But not only does He go before us, He promises to be with us! No matter where I go or what happens to me, God is with me! How can I be afraid if God is in my corner! You see, not only does He hold the future, He holds you! He’s with you. He knows where you are and He knows what’s in store. We don’t have to be afraid or discouraged because our Guide, our God has promised us His providence and His presence.

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