April 30, 2020
Volume 24, Number 15
The area in which I live might be called a “threshold”; it’s situated in a corridor that links Western North Carolina with Kentucky. Daniel Boone crossed through this area on his way to leading settlers through the Cumberland Gap into new frontiers now known as Kentucky and Tennessee. A great deal of history trudged through this area.
Crossing that gap into new frontiers was not an easy thing. There were many dangers to be faced and help in times of crisis was scarce. I marvel at the courage of these pioneers for taking on such risks. I also feel a great indebtedness to them. Had it not been for their daring spirits, the blessings I now enjoy would not have come about.
Isn’t that the situation before us at the moment? We’ve crossed a gap into a world with strange and frightening features: keeping distance between us, covering our faces with cloth masks, washing our hands more frequently than ever, and building up our courage to make a simple visit to the grocery store. We don’t like this “place”, but here we are, and how long our sojourn will last in this foreign land is unknown.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have advantages to help me enter new frontiers. I draw strength from another occasion when new territory was being entered. As Israel stood upon the east bank of the Jordan River, there was much to fear (including a flooding river, Joshua 3:15). What dangers were waiting for them in Canaan?
God’s words to Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, were significant: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). True to His word (of course!), God enabled the people of Israel to cross the swollen Jordan, and then to conquer the fierce resistance they encountered. As long as they trusted God and followed His instructions, they advanced without obstruction.
Was such a campaign worth the risk? In Deuteronomy 6:10,11 God gave a preview of what they would find in Canaan: “… great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant …” Yes, this was a land of plenty!
The same God who promised to be with Israel as they entered new frontiers has promised to be with us, too: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5). (That quote, by the way, comes from Joshua 1:5.)
Yes, this is strange and frightening territory before us, and most of us would rather not be here. The question to ask is this: Will we trust God to lead us to better days?
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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