When LeRoy and I were hiking a few years ago, we started out on a clearly marked mountain trail. But the further we went, the fewer the trail markers! Gradually we were wandering through rough terrain and completely off track. After several hours of trudging through the wilderness, searching for signs of our original trail and coming up with nothing, we finally admitted we were lost. As the sun was starting to set, we found a barbed wire fence at the edge of the woods and crossed it, wandered onto a dirt road, and flagged down a lone pick-up truck to hitch a ride back to our car—more than twenty miles away!
Getting lost in those woods was nothing compared to what we’re navigating today. While we were wandering, lost, hungry, and thirsty, I wouldn’t have thought that I’d ever be thankful for that experience, but today I am. That day’s “adventure” gave me a visual of how to navigate fear.
Whenever we lose sight of the guiding markers, we’re sure to get lost in the wilderness.
Whenever I find myself wandering through the wilderness of fear, I’ve learned to depend on “faith markers” to get me back on the trail and out of the woods. And it is imperative that I keep those trail markers in front of me, all along the way, or I’m headed for destruction. When I lose sight of the “faith markers,” I’m quickly swallowed up in fear and confusion.
One of my favorite faith markers is Psalm 46.
[box]God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea . . .[/box]
In other words . . . when my life comes crashing down, God is there to serve as my refuge and strength; therefore, there’s no reason for fear.
Many times in the early morning hours, before my eyes open, especially when I’m walking through a season of intense loss or fear (like where we find ourselves now), Psalm 46 comes to my lips. It’s something I hid in my heart years ago, during another season when it seemed the earth was shifting beneath our feet, and it’s become an essential faith marker for me.
As I quote this ancient truth, it takes me to the sanctuary of God’s reality and leads me to moments of worship. This Psalm reminds me that He’s the One who can melt the earth with one word or rebuke the raging sea at His command. And then tenderly, my faithful Father brings me out of the wilderness of fear to rest in the safety of His hand.
I need Faith Markers to keep my heart pressing into the path He has for us right now. Those faith markers are what will keep my eyes fixed on truth, what will provide the endurance to run well the race he has set before us when I’m tempted to wander through a wilderness of fear, deception, despair, and self-centered thinking.
Faith Markers keep my heart:
o Ruled by peace
o Rooted in joy
o Receptive to truth
o Rallied to fresh worship
o Radically committed to His purpose
In the next posts, we’ll look at each of these five statements and see how this works by using the truths from Psalm 46. For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you might recognize this post as I’ve picked it up and dusted it off from the archives (and tweaked it a bit). Last week, a reader left a comment and a question on the old post from 2013. So, “Kim” (the reader who left the comment), I hope you’re still reading and will catch the posts, this week and next, that might help to answer your question.
Do you have a favorite faith marker you’d like to share with us today?