Today will have challenges for you and for me. We may need a scissors or perhaps not. What matters is we tried and God is smiling down on that effort every time. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I had to open one of those plastic packages the other day. You know the ones; they say “easy open” only because they want to challenge you to a duel between plastic Zip-Lock and fingers. The package protected some dried fruit that I was looking forward to tasting. But, since it was plastic wrapped in such a way that even Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t tear it, I knew I would ultimately resort to a scissors, but that didn’t stop me. Even though there is a small bit of copy on the lip of the package that tells you to, “Tear here,” no amount of leverage or skill will get the package open. There was a challenge here and, besides, it did say, “Tear here.” All I ended up doing, however, was stretching the wrap, making it even more difficult to tear. There simply was no way I was going to open it without a scissors. Finally I surrendered and plodded off to the kitchen to find Holly’s scissors. Nevertheless,
the challenge of getting that package opening without the aid of the scissors was satisfying. Although in the end I did spend the necessary thirty seconds or so to cut along the lines and finally open the package, I didn’t regret taking the challenge in the first place. The package won this time, but there would be another time, and I would be ready. “Frailty, thy name is scissors!”
I don’t believe that God intended you and I to be faint at heart or frail when it comes the challenges that he allows us to face in this life. We can’t always be winners, and sometimes the challenges will be overpowering, but God’s promise is that he will never leave us whatever the challenge, even if it ends in failure. God called us to challenge, not retreat.
Here’s a thought from Chuck Swindoll. “Several years ago I met a gentleman who served on one of Walt Disney’s original advisory boards. What amazing stories he told! Those early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. I especially appreciated the man’s sharing with me how Disney responded to disagreement. He said that Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn’t pursue it. Yes, you read that correctly. The challenge wasn’t big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement!” (Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.107.)
Are there challenges in your life today that cause you to shrink back, even run the other way? To be honest, there are some challenges none of us need to tackle. I won’t try to tear a plastic package apart unless there’s a tab and notch that says “tear here.” There’s no chance of winning such a contest, as I will lose every time. A fool’s errand is no test of character. God doesn’t tempt us to foolishness. He does, nonetheless, put challenges before us that are filled with possibilities. “I will never leave you or forsake you” is as much as a challenge as it is a promise in that regard. It’s daring in respect to the fact that there is risk. It is surety in respect to the fact that the outcome will be pleaseing to God when we boldly believe it. Today will have challenges for you and for me. We may need a scissors or perhaps not. What matters is we tried and God is smiling down on that effort every time.
We pray. Thank you Lord for presenting us with challenges, big and small, every day of our lives. Sometimes Father we shrink back when we are afraid of the outcome, especially when it contains the opportunity of failure. Help us to remember your promise that you will never leave us or forsake us, that your presence is guaranteed despite the fact that the outcome may be beyond our ability to know victory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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