JUST IN CASE

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He spreads snow like a white fleece, he scatters frost like ashes, He broadcasts hail like birdseed—who can survive his winter? Then he gives the command and it all melts; he breathes on winter—suddenly it’s spring! [Psalm 147:16-18 (MSG)]

Before departing from our Colorado mountain home, I took a walk around the neighborhood, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Birds were singing, the sun was bright in the clear sky, most of the snow had melted, and my neighbors were all preparing for spring. Patio furniture was again on decks, children’s play houses had reappeared in the yards, bicycles were out, motor cycles were being tuned, and trikes, skateboards and toy cars again littered driveways. Yet, in spite of the mild weather and the calendar saying it is officially “spring,” most residents didn’t seem to believe wholeheartedly in spring’s arrival. One home epitomized the lack of faith my mountain neighbors seem to have in the promise of spring. On the left side of the porch were a child’s bike, red wagon, and toy lawnmower. On the right side, however, sat a sled, shovel and snow blower. Even though everyone appeared ready to believe in spring’s appearance, few were willing to put away the necessities for winter storms. They’ll remain out for several more weeks, “just in case.”

“Just in case” is wise when it comes to dealing with the fickle spring weather of the mountains. “Just in case” and not trusting wholeheartedly is not acceptable, however, when dealing with God. He wants complete commitment to Him and complete faith in His promise.

If we say we have faith but our lives don’t show it, we don’t have faith. If our faith hasn’t changed the way we conduct ourselves, we don’t have faith. If we profess to have faith but don’t bear any fruits of that faith, we don’t have faith. Faith is more than just believing something is true. All of my neighbors believe that spring has arrived; after all, the calendar and thermometer both say so. My neighbors, however, as shown by the snow blowers and shovels that remain handy, have no faith in the promise of spring.

We must do more than believe in Jesus; we must act upon that belief. We need the kind of faith that Peter had when he stepped out of the boat without a life-preserver, when Elisha burnt his plows, when Abraham left his home, when Rahab hid the Israelite spies, when Esther approached King Xerxes, and when John and James abandoned both their father and their boat to follow Jesus. None of them left anything behind “just in case.” They had the kind of faith that put away trust in things like self, money, position, and possessions. They had the kind of faith that stepped out faithfully into God’s promises.

Spring storms will come to the mountains and my neighbors will be happy they didn’t put away their shovels. Life’s storms will come into the lives of those both with and without faith. The difference, however, is that for those who have faith, those who truly trust in Him, God will provide the shovels, plows and snow blowers necessary to get through those storms!

Faith is not trying to believe something regardless of the evidence. Faith is daring to do something regardless of the consequences. [Sherwood Eddy]

The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!”  Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. [Matthew 8:24-26 (MSG)]