2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. (NIV)
Around the campus of the University of West Alabama, there is a paved loop. Most people walk the Loop Walk to get healthy, others to lose weight, and some to get stronger. Me? You are going to think I am crazy, but I walk just to walk! I started walking the Loop every night at 7 p.m. when the summer semester began.
The Loop Walk isn't an easy esplanade for the average beginning walker though! There are hills that would make even Kobe Bryant strain, loose gravel that would bruise even the bottoms of the feet of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, and potholes that could swallow up Hulk Hogan. Parts of the Loop Walk are shaded by trees, which makes the walk pleasant for me. But there is a long stretch of the Loop that has no shade whatsoever, and having the sun beat down on me is not pleasant. But if I stopped walking just because the Loop is long and I am hot, I would never get where I am going — back to my apartment, back to my kitties, Lucky and Millie.
God never promised us that life would be easy — especially for Christians. Once we have accepted Him, we are new, which means that the old person is gone, and that changes in our lives will occur. There will be stumbling blocks, sharp turns, and much more that we will experience.
Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)
This is the best assurance we have from God that, even though the "Loop" we call life is not easy, He is going to be there for us, and His plans are for us not to be harmed, but to prosper.
Isaiah 43:2-3 is also a promise from God: "When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (NLT) And in John 16:33, Jesus states, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
Prayer: Loving God, we have encountered many "sharp turns" and "stumbling blocks" since we have become Christians. We pray that we will continue to learn that we can trust You to be with us in all circumstances. Help us to grow in faith. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.