The weather had grown cold the year that I had arrived in Canada. As a young man who grew up in the tropics, Fall was nice to look at, but hard to endure. My first “winter” jacket was from the local second hand store, and as a student scrimping to afford rent, I made do without a hat or gloves. I remember going from door to door on a cold September morning (yes, it was only September) speaking to young parents about our church Sunday School that we were restarting. My ears were painful to touch and felt like they were falling off my head; and my lips were so frozen that I couldn’t make myself understood when I said the word “Bible.” Amazingly, people showed up on Sunday at the invitation of a young shivering scrawny man muttering “Baba” as he pointed to a book in his shirt pocket.
I look back at those days with a sense of wonder over the mighty hand of God to use the weakest of His vessels. It was Jeremiah who cried out when God called him to be His prophet, “I’m only a youth…I can’t speak.” He sounded much like a skinny man in the cold crying out, “Baba.” Now here is the amazing part. Read God’s encouraging answer that sweeps over the soul like a warm wind on a cold day, “Don’t say that…just go because I’m sending you, and speak because I’m giving you the words…don’t be afraid! I will take you through” (Jeremiah 1:7-8). That last thought – that He will take us through wherever He calls us to go – has been the guiding source of every venture of faith that I’ve stumbled into. I’ve learned through those experiences that God never comes up short. So, here’s the divine invitation: come along on the journey of faith. Trust Him when He calls you into places that stretches your faith, and in so doing, you will find Him with hands open wide, and with a voice that thunders through our every doubt, “Don’t be afraid! I will take you through.”