"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." ~Henry Ward Beecher
It was the ideal morning for an adventure, the perfect time to push my self-imposed boundaries and venture out. The overcast skies meant a much cooler temperature. I leashed up our Shepherd mix Scout and headed north of our home. Though the foothills above us are residential, they are also populated with natives that occupied this territory long before we did. Coyotes, foxes, bears, wildcats, and rattlesnakes are just a few of our neighboring species. I have had more than my share of close-up encounters with some. So I rarely walk deeper into the foothills alone.
But today I had my trusty companion Scout at my side. He seemed equally eager to take a different path on our morning jaunt. My pepper spray in one hand and Scout's leash in the other gave me a tangible sense of security. As we travelled higher into the hillside, I thought about another Companion. Even though I cannot see or feel him physically, I know he is right there beside me. He is my true source of security. But I have to admit, it was reassuring to have a dog by my side who I believe would give his life to protect me.
As I pressed on in my walk, my mind wandered to concerns that have been weighing on me. There are so many unknowns right now. I thought about my husband at work, even though he'd made the decision to take Fridays off. Incoming bills and too many uncertainties bring out the "provider" in him, determined to take care of his family. I found myself crying out to God in my spirit. I feel so weak...inadequate...ill-equipped. Do I dare believe that lifelong dreams will come to fruition? Do I really believe we can change the path we are on? But there was that thought again ~ He is with me...with us...always. Whatever road we are walking, he is keeping step with us. When we feel like we are barely treading water in turbulent seas, he is right there, too.
Our weaknesses, shortcomings, failures, and unknowns are a part of the way he designed us. He knows that if he equipped us to be all things at all times to all people, we wouldn't need him. It's those moments when we feel we are lacking that he comes along side us and fills in the gap, empowering and strengthening us. I think he longs to equip us to be who he created us to be, doing what he called us to do. "Have a little faith," I hear him whisper to my spirit. "Trust me."
Scout and I found are way back home safely from our morning trek. Both of us were a bit winded, but smiling. No bears, coyotes, or snakes this time. Just Scout, God and me, enjoying our local hillside. I couldn't ask for better companions while I exercised my body...and stretched my faith.
Need a little faith-building? Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." ~Corrie Ten Boom
"Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch." ~Ramona C. Carroll
"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."
~Mary Manin Morrissey
"Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step." ~Joni Erickson Tada
"Faith is: dead to doubts, dumb to discouragements, blind to impossibilities."
"Faith is the spark that ignites the impossible and causes it to become possible. When a person's faith is activated, it sets in motion supernatural power that enables that person to do what he normally would never be able to do!" ~Rick Renner
"Faith is like a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark." ~Scandinavian Saying
"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." ~St. Thomas Aquinas
"The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, 'Move!' and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn't be able to tackle." ~Matthew 17:20, The Message