Monday Motivator – April 18

There is a great scene in the first Jurassic Park movie when dinosaur expert Dr. Alan Grant and two young siblings (Lex and Tim) survive the initial attack by the Tyrannosaurus Rex. They narrowly escape by scrambling down the side of the T-Rex paddock and rescue Tim from the fallen vehicle. The kids are visibly shaken and Lex is almost hyperventilating with fear. She says her parents left her as a result of a divorce and is terrified, when Dr. Grant tried to calm her down by saying, “But, I won’t leave you.”

True to his word, he gets the kids back safely through the park to their grandfather, Dr. John Hammond, and they get off the island by helicopter. Dr. Hammond earlier had remarked, “Who better than a dinosaur expert to get my grandkids out of danger.” He thought it was a sure thing.

Many of us make decisions according to the odds or a gut feeling. If we believed there was a greater chance we would get injured (or even die) by participating in certain behaviors, I assume most of us would avoid it. Yet there are thrill seekers among us who seek to stare even death in the face and seek to manipulate the odds for the adrenaline rush. I read about a guy who jumped off a boat to swim to shore in shark-infested waters with little more than his swim suit. Yikes!

My question is does knowing the odds or using common sense make much difference? A friend of mine who bets on sports told me you can wager on anything. He said some guys in Las Vegas once told him that people have a better chance of dying from a bee sting (one in six million) than winning the lottery (one in eighty million). Yet folks still buck the odds, right?

Read Hebrews 13:1-6.

While I was stirred by Dr. Grant’s heroics in Jurassic Park, the Scriptures have given me an anchor in real life that God’s word about never leaving us is trustworthy. The writer to the Hebrews wrote in 13:5 that God promised, “Never will I leave you or forsake you.” That’s exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So when God says, “Never will I leave you or forsake you,” what does that mean? First, I suggest that only God can make that sort of declaration and keep it, based on His character and track record. Second, He will not abandon you and leave you to figure out life alone (unless you want Him to). Third, when bad things happen, avoid the tendency to assume God left you.

Since God’s presence provides security and identity for us, the writer of Hebrews 13 adds several other behavior shaping practices that God suggests you practice, in order to flourish:

Verse one says to love one another as brothers; Verse two says to show hospitality to strangers; Verse three says to remember people in prison and those treated poorly as if you shared their suffering; Verse four says to practice sexual purity whether single or married; Verse five says to practice a lifestyle of contentment instead of greed and ingratitude.

Knowing that God is our always present “helper” (verse six), Scripture calls us to live a fear-less life that is others-centered. We do not have to succumb to the trials and tribulations of life by getting paralyzed with anxiety. Grow devotionally. You can read and trust in the Word of God. It is a sure thing God will never leave us. May His promise give you courage to face today.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

©2016 by Mike Olejarz

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