Well, let’s go three for three and end this week with another morning story! My daily routine starts about 7:30 when I roll out of bed, immediately start speaking out the Word of God, check on my sleeping wife, pull up the covers, turn on the heater and then get myself ready for the day. From there Fiver and I plod down the hallway into the living room where the dog stops, waits for me to pet him and then jumps up on the couch to catch a few more zzz’s while I open up the sliding window drapes and step into the kitchen.
In the kitchen I get the coffee going and prepare Piper’s liquid medications. Once that task is complete I move the three cups to the dining room table, turn on the computer, click the Pandora tab and go back to the living room to open up the front blinds. Then with a nod to the dog, the two of us head back down the hall to get Piper up.
About fifteen minutes later, after I have confessed our regular healing scriptures verbally over Piper and get her up and ready for the day, I lift her into her chair and we all go into the dining room where the computer and external speakers are filling the front rooms with soft Christian music playing styles from 1970-80’s Second Chapter of Acts to modern day Southern Gospel and current contemporary bands.
As I began assisting my wife with her first apple cider and medicine mixture today, I heard Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “The Great Adventure” come on the radio. I really enjoy the way the song captures the listeners attention from the very start complete with the opening guitar licks and the word’s, ♫ “Saddle up your horses!”♪
That beginning and the chorus a few moments later got my mind to wandering from Piper riding horses, to the mountains and then to our many past camping adventures:
♪ “Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace
Let's follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other, whoa whoa this is the great adventure” ♫ *
For some reason I began to recall all the tents we’ve used for all those outdoor adventures, from my folks old green canvas tent, their newer yellow and blue canvas tent I got for them when I worked in the sporting goods department at Sears in the early 1970’s, and then Piper’s and my first new six man blue nylon tent and our of course the huge two compartment blue and white nylon tent we purchased in the 1990’s… and still have today!
As we progressed to Piper’s send concoction of medicine and strawberry yogurt, I thought of a recent picture I had come across over the holidays of a camping trip we took with the rest of my family to Richardson Grove State Park on the southernmost border of Humboldt County in the redwoods of northern California. What came to mind in particular this morning was when we got up the second day and noticed that our ice chest and lantern had been stolen out of the campsite during the evening!
When we reported it to the Ranger on duty he stated that there had been a rash of burglaries around the campgrounds that night. It actually wasn’t too traumatic for us since most the food supplies for the weekend were stored with my parents in their trailer. Our ice chest only had milk, a few baby bottles and other food stuffs for our baby JoAnna! So, we just made a trip to the nearby town off Garberville, bought a polyurethane ice chest and restocked all of the items taken. I purchased a new lantern the next summer from a sporting goods store back home! (and since that trip I always made sure all those items were locked away in our vehicle before we turned in for the night!)
As I stepped back into our family memories today though, I began to think of how the ice chest that would have normally been stuffed with a block of ice and enough food to feed our family for five days and our bright Coleman lantern kind of symbolize a foundation for our camping needs. The food being our very sustenance and the lantern as our light guiding us in the darkness of the evening.
That thought made me think about the verses in James that I was reading yesterday during my morning study time. James 1:5-8 talk about when we need to ask God for wisdom that we do so without any doubt for, “A person who has doubts shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord. A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can't make up his mind about anything.” (James 1:7-8 God’s Word ©)
As I meditated on those verses I suddenly realized how detrimental doubt really is to a Believer, for doubt is a thief of our faith. And without missing a beat I understood that in reality, those who immediately criticized the steps we took in faith as we began to fight in earnest the attack on Piper’s health were actually (most likely unknowingly) attempting to put doubt in our minds as to the physical path we had begun to follow and thereby steal our faith!
I like the way The Voice translation puts verse eight declaring: “The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.” I have to say that I did feel confused but not with our faith in which we felt pretty dedicated and confident with, but confused as to the other individuals reactions. I guess I could honestly say that “I didn’t see that one coming!”
Romans 10:17 tells us “So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.” (God’s Word ©) And just like the thief who took our chest of sustenance and our light to see in the dark during that camping trip, the doubt cast in our direction concerning our steps of faith were trying to take away the foundation of our stand. According to Romans 10:17, they were attempting to get us to listen to different message than that which Christ spoke to us through His Word.
Ah Ha… another reason for getting our daily dose of fresh anointing of God’s Word into our hearts each morning! We may not have understood back in 2009 that the thief (See: John 10:10) was trying to steal the beginning steps of our faith for Piper’s healing, but we were secure enough in God’s love and the promises He gave us in His Word, that we did not allow ourselves to ever question what we KNEW He was instructing us to do.
So, what will it be for you? Will you keep your heart and life topped up with daily doses of God’s Word so as to ward off the thief who masterfully tries to steal your faith… or will you be caught off-guard? Yea… I know, easy answer… now we just got to do it!
Have a great weekend, and as you do keep asking yourself… “What message am I expecting to listen to in order to guard my faith today?”