The WORD of the Day:
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." --Isaiah 41:10
Let Me Give You a Lift:
A lot of imagery is used in the Bible to explain the many facets of God, but probably the most common one is that of a father. I think it's probably my favorite characterization, not because "creator," "Almighty," "Love," "King of Kings" or any of the others aren't amazing. No, it's because thinking of God as Father makes all of the passages like today's Word make a lot of sense.
Just think about the way we talk to our own children (and children in general). Jake and I often tell our son "don't be afraid, I'm here," when we want to sooth his fears and concerns. We tell him "don't be sad, I'm here" went he is upset. We tell him "here, let me help you" when he can't quite do something on his own. And when he can't see, his father lifts him up. Doesn't seeing a kid on dad's shoulders always make us smile a little extra?
It's the same with the heavenly Father. He soothes our fears and worries by His presence. He comforts us when we are hurting. He helps us when we are in need, and He lifts us up so we can see the way ahead. The big difference between our dads and the heavenly Father? He is righteous. Some of us have awful earthly fathers, who were not there for us in the way they should have been. Even those of us who have amazing fathers have been let down, though, because even the world's greatest dad is only human. God is Father because He is always there, accessible to all His children, willing to hold us all high. And He is righteous.
When you think about that child on dad's shoulders, the reason the little one us up there is because he/she trusts dad. The same child might not let a stranger lift them up so high. No, there is a relationship which tells that child that even though they are leaving the ground, they are safe. This is an awesome lesson for us. If we really want to be lifted up by our heavenly Father, we have to be willing to let Him hold us high.
Give it a Listen:
Today's song is "God Will Lift Up Your Head" by Jars of Clay. This video was done by the Abundant Joy Church, and they call it "Cardboard Confessionals." It's a group of members who got together and made a video about how their lives have changed through faith. The major theme in the song (and the video) is simple: hope. The actual song starts at the 45 second mark.