Faith Blog

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Proverbs 27:3, A stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. (NIV)


What is the heaviest thing you’ve tried to move recently? For me it was an old wooden picnic table that needed to be moved from one end of a field to another. One other man, 30 years younger, and I were tasked with moving this overbuilt, bulky, mass in the dark across an un-level field. Using the sheer size of the object and the steadiness of the strong helper for balance, I struggled to move my end of that table step-by-stumbling-step until finally it was done. Not wanting to show the effects of my age, I smiled, congratulated my helper for keeping up, and took each step back to my car slowly letting my back decompress, hoping the pains I felt were temporary.


As heavy as that picnic table was, it was feather-light compared to the anguish (not to mention the anger, wrath, and resentment) that can result from putting your trust in someone who lets you down. The NET Bible uses the old-fashion word “vexation” – resentment caused by a fool. Leaving yourself vulnerable to a fool (one who does not value God’s instructions for living) can lead to deep feelings of anger. These feelings take more than ibuprofen and a nap on a stiff mattress to get over and don’t give you the satisfaction like moving the weighty object.


No matter who the fool is that is weighing down your life, believers know that there is only one Boss, one Leader, one Master, and He is no fool. He will provide the strength and stability to carry the weight.


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“The lazy person claims, “there’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!” Proverbs 22:14


Although we don’t face many marauding lion in the street these days, we have many reasons to consider staying inside our comfort zones and letting the opportunity for accomplishing great things slip to the next in line or left undone. After all, wouldn’t taking a risk mean that I could actually not succeed. I may not be mauled by a lion, but I could lose time, money, reputation, friends, and influence for the future. Shouldn’t I just sit this one out and let others take the risk? After all, I’m a father and husband and you need me to support all the other ministries I’m involved in, right? This is the mindset of the lazy person, and the writer of Proverbs 22:14 is challenging us to open the door, leave the security of our home, and venture out into the path where God is waiting for us.


Faith and courage are so difficult to find. Perhaps that is why a man like John McCain is being remembered on billboards and TV and radio programs across the country today. I’ve heard so many people talk respectfully about a man they disagreed with. He took chances, was mauled by lions and placed the interest of others before himself. He continues to inspire even after his death.


Now it is our turn. What are our lions? How do we open the door of our comfort zone and take that first step outside. Is God able to protect us from the unknown, from the ferocious? Does he know when we are in real danger and does He love us enough to know when we need Him? Of course he does. He made the lion and he made the man or woman whose hand is reaching for the door. Lord, make me aware of how powerful You are, how much You love me, and how much you want for me to depend on You for the courage to face down the lions today. Amen

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