They often give you one when you check into some sprawling motel complex, or a big theme park, or a large convention facility. It's a map of the place. And for the directionally challenged like me, there's one important thing I look for on that map. It's that "x" and those three very helpful words, "You are here." See, you're not helping me very much by just giving me a drawing of where everything is. In order for me to use that to get where I want to go, I need that one fundamental piece of information - locating exactly where I am right now!
They called it the "perfect storm." The remains of a hurricane combined with some storm fronts over New England to create a weather monster. The movie, The Perfect Storm, tells the story of one fishing crew's heroic but unsuccessful battle to survive that storm. Author Peter Hiett tells of another battle for survival that took place to the south, off the New Jersey shore. John had taken his six-year old daughter sailing that day, but he didn't check the weather report. Six miles out, he found himself suddenly in trouble as a major storm seemed to come from nowhere. It wasn't long before their boat capsized, and John and his daughter were in the water as their life preservers were swept out to sea with their boat.
John knew he couldn't possibly swim the six miles to shore and hold his little girl. Back home, in the family swimming pool, little Mary had learned to float on her back, and that's what her dad told her to do until he could get back. He said, "Mary, you float on your back and I'll swim to shore. And I'll be back for you." Three hours later, the Coast Guard found John, and they started looking with him for his little girl, amid 20 to 30-foot swells. Miraculously, their spotlight found her. She'd been floating for nearly five hours. Later, the rescuers asked her, "How did you do that, Mary?" And her answer was amazing: "My daddy said I could float on my back as long as I wanted to, and that he would come back for me. My daddy always does what he says."
For one little girl, faith in her father helped her to survive one of the storms of the century. That's what you and I need, too, to make it through the storms that could sink us. We need a "daddy" who always does what he says. For someone listening today, the word "father" just carries a lot of hurt and disappointment. And no earthly father, no matter how good he is, can always do what he says.
Every dad dies someday - except one. He's the God who made you; the God who has asked us to call Him our "Heavenly Father." He's not the father you had on earth; He's the Father we've all wished we had and so much more. He's the Father your heart has been yearning for your whole life.
And here's what the Bible says about this God who wants to bring you into His family so He can be your Father. It's our word for today from the Word of God in Hebrews 6, beginning with verse 18. It says, "It is impossible for God to lie ... We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." This anchor hope is actually a personal relationship with the God of the universe through what His Son did on the cross for us. Jesus poured out His life as your substitute, to pay your death penalty for every wrong thing you've ever done. So your sins could be forgiven and you could belong to God forever.
And He's the Father who always does what He says. Here's what He promised to those who accept the gift His Son died to give us: "'I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18) You need Him. You were made for Him. And He wants you so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son to remove what stood between you and His love.
It's your move now, to reach out to God in faith and say, "I've been running my own life, God, and that's wrong. I'm ready to live Your way now, and I believe Jesus is my only hope of having my sins forgiven because He died for me. So, Lord, I'm Yours." That's how you begin your personal relationship with the Father that you were made by and made for. We're actually here to help you do that if you'll take a few moments and visit our website. It's yoursforlife.net. There's a brief, non-religious explanation there of how to get started with Jesus. Or we'll send you my booklet about it called "Yours For Life" if you'll just call and ask for it at 877- 741-1200.
For every storm that hits you - for even the ultimate storm called death - there is a father who will not abandon you, and who will never stop loving you. A father you can trust because He always does what He says.
If you're not sure you belong to Jesus, and you would like to make sure today, Ron would like to send to you a free copy of the booklet, "Yours for Life: How to Have Life's Most Important Relationship." To read it online, click here:
"A Word With You" by Ron Hutchcraft is a daily radio challenge, with slice-of-life illustrations and insights - providing practical help on the issues that matter most. If your local Christian radio station does not air "A Word With You," please let them know how much you value this program. Over six years of transcripts are available online, at Click Here