Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Thief comes only to Steal and Kill and Destroy

I took a day off work today so that I could take my family to Werribee open range Zoo today. My little son was especially excited to see all the animals.

For me, however, this was a trip I did not want to make. I find travelling through the city difficult at the best of times, as the city centre is a rabbit-warren like maze of freeways, tunnels and confusing off-ramps.

Yet the primary reason for my reservations for this trip was that the city is in the midst of carrying out extensive road works, and I heard a couple of months ago that they had closed the road I normally used to get through the city to reach the West Gate Bridge.

As this day approached, I found myself bombarded with fearful thoughts. Those insidious “what if” thoughts came in thick and fast. What if I couldn’t find the correct off-ramp? What if upon finding the correct off-ramp, I was in the wrong lane and couldn’t reach it in time? What if I ended up travelling down an unknown section of the freeway, not knowing how to get back to the West Gate Bridge?

So I woke this morning looking for any excuse not to go. Perhaps the threatened thunder storm was moving in? That would make the perfect excuse. But with sunshine streaming through my bedroom window, I knew that excuse would not wash.

Then I made a decision. I would face this fear. I would not let fear of what could go wrong immobilise me and ruin this family occasion.

I recalled what I had read in the Bible last night. In 1 Corinthians 15:10 Paul writes, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

So it was God’s grace working through Paul that helped him to serve God, to live the life God gave him.

So I loaded my family into the car, faced my fears, and braved the changed traffic conditions, availing myself of the power of God’s unlimited grace.

And after all those fearful thoughts, after all those “what ifs” - do you know what went wrong? Absolutely nothing – I followed all the road signs and found the route to the bridge, and all the way to the zoo. (And if something had gone wrong, we would have found our way back to the correct route eventually.)

And we had a wonderful time. We watched an irresistibly cute family of meerkats frolicking in their habitat, we learned that zebras roll in rhino poo to smell like rhinos, so that the short sighted rhinos think the zebras are rhinos and leave them alone (ewww), we saw giraffes, hippos, even camels. And my kids had a ball, racing around the walkways and giggling their heads off.

On the way back from the zoo, I reflected on how Satan wants to rob us of the fullness of life that Jesus has given us. Satan will never hesitate to throw fears at us in an attempt to scare us into immobility, to stop us stepping forth in faith to receive the blessings that God is reaching out to give us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Satan wants to rob us of God’s blessings to make our hearts sick, but by trusting in God and stepping forward in faith, by availing ourselves of His grace, we stand ready to receive fulfilled heart’s desires, and life.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12.

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  1. Hi bro.Peter. Glad to know that you didn't let the enemy stop you from having a joyful, wonderful time with your family. Zoos are a great place for kids to learn. God truly put awesome details in each of His creation. But the best thing He did was to come and give us life and have it to the full! So, to God be the glory forever! God bless you and your family.

  2. Peter, always glad when you post. You have a wealth of information and life stories to share, thank you. Yeah, Satan does his darn best to rob us of what we so deserve from God. But thank God we do have Him to call upon. Blessings dear one!

  3. Peter, you are truly my brother. I get easily intimidated in city traffic with ribbons of highways. I just recently drove 446 miles to my daughter's and back and God gave me the grace to do it. I know the fears you described. I am so glad you and I got the victory. Let's not let the enemy steal our family times with his intimidation.

  4. Excellent reminder for all of us, Peter. We mustn't let fear steal our joy. Blessings, my friend.

  5. Peter, thanks for your post. Today the Lord showed me that I've been living paralized by 3 fears: fear of failiure, fear of rejection and fear of abandonment these fears have lead me to have anxiety and panic attacks and depresion but by God's grace, I see now some light, I am in recovery and all your posts have helped me so much. Be blessed and may the Lord use you more and more. Blessings.

  6. Great post Peter! And timely. I have also been working on giving myself permission to *enjoy* those blessings without sabatoging myself. Sometimes we don't feel we deserve to be happy, or even to feel happy, good, contented or anything good so we need to council ourselves just like we would talk to a friend.
    Good stuff Peter and I'm so glad God is using your posts as a light to reach far and wide in this dark world.

  7. Thanks RCUBEs. Listening to the zoo keepers explain the unique behaviour of each animal, really showed how great our God really is. I cannot comprehend the breadth of His imagination!

    Hi JBR, I'm encouraged as always to hear that my writings are being used by God. And amen! Where would we be without our loving God to call upon.

    Hi Mary, what a relief to find that I'm not the only one like this in regards to traffic, LOL. Did you know that in Melbourne, because of the trams, we have to make a right turn from the far left lane?!? Good on you for that 446 miles drive - God's good!

    Thanks for dropping by again Joanne.

    Thanks for your comment, Omar. Thank you for letting me know that Lord is using my posts to help you. Praying that the Lord will continue to assist your recovery, and set you free from those free fears. 1 John 4:4 "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."

    Hi Pat, thanks for dropping by, and I can so relate to what you've shared. God bless you heaps :)

  8. "Hi JBR, I'm encouraged as always to hear that my writings are being used by God. And amen! Where would we be without our loving God to call upon."

    Ditto!! Blessings dear one!

  9. Nice post. I am stunned by the fear I find everywhere I look. Thank God for the courage to do it afraid.

  10. I love this honest post. What a powerful testimony, Peter. John Piper says that Grace is not only "God's Riches at Christ's Expense," but also "God's Rescuing and Caring Exertion" for our everyday caring lives. You have made it clear that His grace rescued you to enjoy this experience. Wow.