When I was growing up, we lived out in the country. Not that there weren't other homes nearby, there were, and it was only five minutes to town. But there were fields, a woods and three ponds immediately behind my home. I spent many hours exploring, walking and playing in those woods.
After I received Christ at age 7, and started reading my Bible, my woods adventures changed. I lived out David slaying Goliath as my make-shift giant came crashing down at my feet with one stone. Like Moses, I took my staff and parted the Red Sea (actually I jumped the small creek without getting my feet wet but it is amazing how our imagination can fill in the details). All the tad pole Egyptians drowned. I was David, hiding from Saul, and with great stealth made my way near him without his knowledge.
During those childhood years and early on in my ministry I believed God. Notice I didn't say I believed in God. I said I believed God. He could do anything. And He did. And like a child who was securely held in his Father's arms, I feared no evil. I looked at the challenges around me and knew my God would care for them. I looked at what I lacked and knew my Father would supply it. I took the wounds life inflicted on me and experienced the healing and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
I had no confidence in myself but an absolute confidence in my God and that gave me boldness.
This question has been on my mind lately: "Is my God still that big?" And then I heard a message by Francis Chan that spoke to this same issue. He confessed, as I do here and now, that our God has not changed. But somehow through the "stuff" of life I have allowed my boldness and confidence to wane some because I've listened to voices that have dulled my absolute, child-like trust, in the God who can do anything.
So while I can't walk in the same woods I once did, I am headed back to the woods. (Remember I said our imagination can fill in details?) The reason we encourage people to study the Bible is not to gain factual knowledge about Bible history, events and people. That is part of it. But the key is to know and trust the God of the Bible. So I'm tuning my ear once again to David, Moses, Paul, John, Elijah, Daniel, Joseph and Mary, Gabriel, unnamed prophets, Abraham, and others, and readying myself to take greater steps of trusting God in 2013. It is reassuring to know that the God who met me in the woods in my childhood is the same God today in my adulthood.
Anyone else need to take a walk in the woods??