Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Baby steps of faith

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Hosea 10, 11, 12

Hosea 11:1-4 (NIV)

1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.

Good morning!

Do you remember what it was like to see your child take her first steps? When Rachel let go of my fingers for the very first time and began walking toward her Father, I was elated! Little fat rolls on little fat feet flopping across the hard wood floor; she was fearless, determined and joyful! Her belly shook with contagious laughter, causing Rachel to lose her balance and fall with a splat onto the floor! Every time Rachel pulled herself up again, those baby steps were easier to make, and soon, Rachel was running everywhere. When a child learns to walk for the very first time, parents jump for joy and worry themselves sick all at the same time. We wonder, “Will she be okay on her own? Who will be there to pick her up when she falls? Will she ever turn around and come back home again?”

Hosea conveyed God’s love by speaking His Word to the people. Oh, how the Lord loves Israel. When Israel was a little child, He loved them with a passion and out of Egypt He called them to come home. But the more God called, the further Israel ran in the opposite direction. They worshipped other gods and created idols to carry in their hearts and hands. They placed their trust in men instead of the Almighty, crying out to imperfect humans for help and hope. But it was God who taught His people how to walk. He held them up by their arms, even when they did not acknowledge Him. They refused to recognize it was the Lord who healed their lives and saved their souls forever.

When the Church of Jesus Christ stops depending upon the gifts of imperfect men and begins to fully rely upon the power of God, miracles will happen! Just like the Israelites, we tend to place our hope in the leadership of human hands, forgetting to trust God alone for all things. When good stuff happens, we forget to say thank you to the One who is the great gift-giver. Just like a little child who learns how to let go and walk alone, we become overly confident in our own capabilities. We can do it by ourselves, thank you very much! Who will be there to pick you up when you fall down?

Last night, a miracle happened right before my very eyes. Our family and friends have been praying for it fervently for the last month. Our daughter Rachel walked unassisted for the first time in eight days. Too sick to even hold her twelve-week-old baby or turn over in bed without help, I watched Rachel rise up from the sofa, walk across the room and move to a sitting position in a chair. Her face had color again as strength returned to her body. She said her doctor’s office had called and reported the first of three separate lab results were in. “I’m cancer free, Mom.” The Holy Spirit had confirmed this truth to my heart, but to hear the words “cancer free” come out of Rachel’s mouth was probably the best thing I have ever heard her say, ever. To see our little girl rise up and walk unassisted brought great joy to my spirit. She no longer needed human arms to lift her. Rachel is holding onto the everlasting arms of grace and mercy, praising God for the healing power that has set her free from cancer.

Baby steps of faith are borne from the adversities of life. Like Israel, may we turn back toward the God who sees us, knows us, and loves us, even when we choose to run in the opposite direction. Help us, dear Father, to learn from our mistakes and not place total trust in other human beings. May we always look to You for healing, help and hope. You alone are worthy to be praised! Thanks be to God! Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: baby steps of faith! God teaches you to take your very first steps then lets you go by His grace, mercy and love. He is waiting to see whether you will turn around and walk back to Him today.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.