Dodging the puddles

Navigating through the mud puddles isn't always an easy task.

Navigating through the mud puddles isn’t always an easy task.

God will make a way for us through the deep and threatening places of life.

His people never had to swim in dangerous waters as God led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. God split the seas and the rivers. They walked across dry ground to redemption from their Egyptian oppressors. When the people finally were ready to trust and obey God and enter the land, the priests stepped into the water in faith, and God parted the Jordan River to usher His people to the home He had prepared for them.

So why do we, as believers in Christ, stop in our tracks at a few mud puddles between us and the life God has for us?

If the Holy Spirit is guiding, there is no reason to fear. God will make a way through the muddy passages and sweeping oceans between us and where He wants us to be.

Perhaps we are facing chasms of doubt, or shadows from mountains of pain and grief threaten to hide the path before us. Maybe we are afraid to get our feet wet, to step through the waters because we may be swallowed whole. Do we turn back? Do we ignore God’s call to the other side?

God is good. He is kind, and His patience is long. God’s grace reaches farther than our fear and our failure. There is no risk to follow Him. He is with us for every step, and every leap over and around the puddles that threaten us. The very spirit of our Resurrected Savior is alive in us! God has redeemed us, and He will triumph over every circumstance. Holding His nail-scarred hand, we can take each step with Jesus, confident and secure in His love.

Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.”

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

– Isaiah 43:1-2, 16-19

Journey to the Manger: Isaiah

Lauren and Jackson made scrolls depicting the prophecy God gave to Isaiah.

Lauren and Jackson made scrolls depicting the prophecy God gave to Isaiah.

Today’s Journey to the Manger introduced us to Isaiah the prophet.

Isaiah the prophet

Isaiah the prophet

Isaiah lived during dark times. His people, the Israelites, were oppressed and frightened. Some even felt like God had abandoned them. As a family, we could relate to being scared and facing our fears. We split up into two teams and drew pictures of things that made us feel afraid. Snakes, the dark, bats, mice, spiders, water and skeletons made our lists.

God knows our fears, and He knew what the Israelites faced during Isaiah’s days. God chose to speak words of hope and redemption to Isaiah to share with those who had given up. God revealed His plan to come to Earth to personally rescue them from their sin.

Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel, God With Us.

– Isaiah 7:14

God is with us! We don’t have to be afraid. God loved us so much that He came here to save us. Tonight, we wadded up our fear drawings and threw them in the trash, because our God is bigger than our fear. We can trust in His love and His plan.

After discussing the fears we drew, the kids had a ball scrunching up their papers and then throwing them in the trash. We don't have to be scared. God can help!

After discussing the fears we drew, the kids had a ball crunching up their papers and then throwing them in the trash. We don’t have to be scared. God can help!

Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.