Monday, April 14, 2008

Discovery

One of the most wonderful things about knowing God is that there's always so much more to know, so much more to discover. Just when we least expect it, He intrudes into our neat and tidy notions about who He is and how He works.

~ Joni Erickson Tada ~

My kids love to sing the song, "God is bigger than the boogie man." The little guy thinks the next line says, He's bigger than Gorillas or monsters on TV. I don't think he knows who Godzilla is. But He sure knows that God is powerful and trustworthy. In some ways, kids know God more clearly than we do as adults. They trust complicitly in the words of the Scripture without balking or questioning. Their knowledge of God is innocent and pure, but untested.


I KNEW God was bigger than any fear of mine when I went to North Africa. I was still childlike in my faith at the age of 22. I believed that God was always there for me and I trusted Him. One night I chose to take a taxi home from a party instead of coming home with my host family. That was a big mistake. By the time I left the American get-together, it was dark outside but I hopped into a taxi with an address written on a piece of paper, thinking I would have no trouble getting home.

Apparently an address is not enough information for a taxi driver. I could speak French a little but I still didn't know exactly how to get to my host family's house. So, eventually, the driver got frustrated and just dropped me off on the corner.

In the middle of a small suburb, where good Muslim girls don't go out at night, much less alone, I stood trembling with fear. I could remember the warnings we were issued before leaving the states about never being left alone in a room with a man. Or the boys who had hit on me at the beach (despite my long missionary dress), thinking that I was easy because I was an American. I couldn't exactly walk home since I didn't know where I was going. My only hope was that I would meet someone who was trustworthy and who knew my host family. I prayed for God to show me the way.

And God showed me again that day that He was my protector and provider. He sent a group of young people who knew where I needed to go. In a few minutes, I was safely home, wondering how in the world I got myself into that much trouble.

God IS bigger than the boogie man and I needed to know that as a child and as a young adult. More recently, I've been wondering if He is bigger than the boogie man in my heart. As I have watched a friend fall into a disappointing sin, I questioned my own ability to stand firm against temptation. We are not exempt. Being a Christian, being a spiritual leader, or even knowing the Bible inside out does not inoculate us from the effects of sin.

How can I be sure that I will not do the same thing, fall into a terrible sin and dishonor my Lord? The answer came to me this Sunday:

"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30-31

Trusting in my own strength is hopeless, but when I trust in God's strength, I can soar above the fears of this world and rest secure in Him. Each day as I navigate the untested waters before me, I have a new opportunity to see God at work in new ways. He never changes, but He keeps opening my eyes to how He works uniquely in my life.

Susan at Forever His is our hostess today for "In other words."

11 comments:

laney said...

Heather...
"Trusting in my own strength is hopeless, but when I trust in God's strength, I can soar above the fears of this world and rest secure in Him."
I've proven time and time again, that left to my OWN ACCORD...well, you can imagine..but when I trust in GOD...whew...rescued, AGAIN...

What a story you share today...we all will find ourselves standing alone, confused wondering how in the world did I get HERE?
He is bigger than the BOOGIE MAN...I can SING the whole song by heart..."and He's watchin' out for YOU and ME!!"

hugs!!

lori said...

UGH...THAT was ME up there....commented as my girl....
sorry!!!:)
just had to CLARIFY that!!:):)
lori

Tami Boesiger said...

I so appreciate your humility in knowing you are capable of falling, Heather, and love the spirit you exude in your words.

Susan said...

Heather,

What a story, I got nervous just reading it! I had an experience on a mission trip to Haiti where I discovered God was with me in a dangerous situation also.

You know I almost used that story for this quote and changed my mind...

This was great.

I love the way you concluded this. Yes, God never changes. I pray He will give me eyes to see his workings in my life.

Blessing to you my friend♥

Lana G! said...

He keeps opening my eyes to how He works uniquely in my life.

Amen! Amen!

Sita Henderson said...

Hollywood has done quite a number on tainting the 'morality' of the American women. Other parts of the world assume any American woman they meet is like the promiscuous woman pictured in the movies. That is the reality. They think that is the way "Christians' behave because N.America is assumed to be "Christian".

On the other hand, it also has stereotyped ethnic minorities in North America. I have found that getting to know someone from another culture is the antidote to prejudice, to realizing we're all the same under the skin.

I am so glad that no matter where we are, we can know we belong, and are safe because He is there. We are His.

I am so glad that none of us can put God in our tidy little boxes of what life should be. I am so glad that our God is bigger than we could ever fathom. So glad he is unchangeable. So glad He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Thank you for sharing.
Love, Sita

Denise said...

Awesome post my friend.

A Stone Gatherer said...

First of all let me say I love "God is bigger then the boogey man"! I am singing it in my head right now! 2nd thank you for the awesome lesson! It was something I definately needed to hear!

Robyn said...

Your story reminds me of my summer doing missions in Argentina. I didn't have anything quite that scary happen but there was a more "real" dependence on God than I had ever experienced in the states.

Those of us that are moms and get a little wrapped up in the monotony this phase of life brings need to remember what complete dependence on Him is. I know that is my prayer everyday!!

I also read your food poisoning post. HeHe, I can't tell you how many times I've worried about doing that. I'm sure my day is coming, I've only been a mom for 3.5 years!!

How's the job hunt going??

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Wow, you must have been so frightened! I remember when I was first learning to drive and got lost quite often in my own town. That was scary enough for me, I can't imagine being lost in North Africa! But on the other hand what a wonderful and encouraging testimony it left you with. Praise God that we can rest secure in Him no matter where we are!

And by the way, I LOVE the song--God is Bigger Than the Boogyman. Veggie tales Rocks!!

twinklemom said...

Hehehe...I love that..Heather that was an awesome post!