Archive for December 13th, 2022

Advent … Day 17 of 29

Week 3

Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter.

It begins by defining faith for us …

 faith is
confidence in what we hope for 
and assurance about what we do not see.

Then the chapter goes on giving examples of those who were living examples of ones who had faith in God … his promises and plans … above what they could see.

As I write this post, my dog is illustrating another example of faith … faith diminished by fear.

He drinks a significant amount of water each day (thanks to a new ‘special’ food), so I replaced one of his little water dishes (because he has three in the house) for a large one. He is not impressed! For some reason, even though it looks exactly like the previous (except in size) he is scared of it, will not drink out of it.

Earlier this morning, I sat on the bathroom floor (yet again), trying to lure him to it, to show him that it’s contents are indeed familiar and good. I put my finger in the water then moved it near him so he could taste it. Gradually I moved my finger closer and closer to bowl, so that he would have to move toward it to get the water drops. Then I gradually moved treats closer to the bowl. But, each time he would reach an invisible line which he refused to cross.

I decided to try something new today. I placed treats on the rim of the bowl and moved it to where you see it in the image (above), then placed a couple of treats on the opposite side of the bowl. Then, I closed the door (as shown in the pic). I figured he would just leap over the bowl … an easy task for him) or push the door open (again, something he has easily done numerous times in the past).

The thing is he did neither … he moved back and forth by the opening, he moaned, he growled, he stared through the opening longingly … but he was not able to get over, or past. the bowl.

his fear
diminished his faith

As I watched him struggle, I was mesmerized by his fear … perhaps in my pup I saw reflected how my own fears have, at times, held me captive. Situations in all of our lives can cause us to fear, but do stay in our place of fear … even when there is a way out … even when we know we can rest in the security of our faith in God.

Faith in God is a trust in Him even when the doors are shut and it seems there is no way our, except over or through that which we fear the most.

As we are in the waiting of advent, as we consider our faith, I would suggest considering a couple whose faith must have been tested by intense fears …

By faith Joseph,
though unmarried but betrothed (engaged) to Mary,
when he discovered that she was pregnant …
and he knew it was not his child.
Though he planned to divorce her quietly (for betrothal was a legal commitment)
Though the law of land was behind him
and would have supported, encouraged him
to disgrace her, to stone her.
Though he knew that tongues would wag
behind his back,
for the rest of his life,
in his sleepy hometown,
of the sin he had nothing to do with …
He awoke from his revelatory dream of the angel

“Joseph did what the angel of the Lord
had commanded him
and took Mary home as his wife.”

Matthew 1:24

By faith Mary,
though young and unmarried.
Though facing the possibility
of being abandoned by her betrothed, Joseph.
Though facing the possibility of being rejected by
her community,
her friend,
her family.
Though she knew she would surely be
and disbelieved by all who heard her story.
Though facing the possibility (probability)
of social disgrace, maybe even stoning.
Responded, then lived her words,

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38


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