The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Ready, Swift, Nimble"
One of my favorite stories involves fabled New York Yankees baseball manager Casey Stengel. One season, during a particularly brutal heat wave, his players increasingly complained about the hot temperatures. Finally, Casey had had enough. "The next guy who complains about the heat will be fined $500!
In the dugout just before game time the next day, one of the players wiped his brow and said, loudly, "Man, it is hot out here today!" You could have heard a pin drop as Casey and all the players looked up. The silence seemed to alert the complaining culprit to his peril. He smiled, looked around, and said without missing a beat, "Just like I like it!"
Monetary peril led the player to quickly change his perspective, or at least to suggest he did so. In spiritual terms, God calls born again believers in the Lord Christ to quickly and sincerely change our perspective when threatened by peril, whether perceived or real.
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3).
The Psalmist felt temptation to being controlled by fear and insecurity, as we all will. He determined to do something about it, or rather look to the One who promises to keep and defend us.
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness" (Psalm 41:10).
"Safety is of the Lord" (Proverbs 21:31).
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
Temptations to paralyzing insecurity are inevitable in an often fearful world. What we do with the challenges determines our experience of Christ's peace in our hearts and minds. Here the quick-thinking baseball player provides inspiration and instruction. When we realize the peril not only of what frightens us, but also of its threat against the peace of God known within our spirits, we must act quickly. "What might happen to me?" must be replaced with "I will trust in Thee." To avoid crippling fear as the controlling influence of our lives, we must be no less instant in decisive action than the player mentioned. Or, if we realize we have allowed insecurity to govern any aspect of our experience, we must quickly repent and seek our Father's restoration to a walk with Him in the peace of Christ.
The heat wave ended at some point for the New York Yankees that summer. Our ongoing challenge regarding fear, however, will not end during this earthly lifetime. Nor must our quick-wittedness in remembering and affirming the truth during times of temptation to fear. We cannot avoid the challenges. Through Christ, however, we can overcome them. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). Again, "what time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." Any time. All the time. Every time. Our Father calls us to be ready, swift, and nimble of heart and mind in response to anything that challenges heart and mind. The Apostle Paul confirms…
"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Weekly Memory Verse
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place.
(II Corinthians 2:14)