Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and we used to have some vicious winters. On one rare occasion when there were several inches of snow school was canceled and my daddy made a suggestion, “Son, why don’t you go take the shovel and make some money.” My dad was a man of few words and I decided to take my daddy’s suggestion and I set out going door to door asking people could I shovel their driveway for a few dollars.

I went door to door/street to street/block to block and at the end of the day I was several miles away from home. When I finished  my last driveway with my legs tired, muscles cramping, an old lady asked me if I would shovel her drive way and much to my chagrin she had one of those long driveways with a steep slope.  She saw the look on my face and gave me her own pitiful look that I’m convinced that only old ladies can give you and she said, “-please baby help me out.”

Can I be honest?  I was tired, I was worn out, but something told me still to help her out, and I started shoveling up the hill.  My muscles were contracting, my legs were cramping and then I saw a car come up to the corner. You see my daddy had been searching the neighborhood since I went out based on his suggestion. He decided to throw the snow blower in the car and partnered with me to finish the task of clearing snow from this long hilly driveway.

Listen, when you go out on your Heavenly Father’s suggestion, you may not think you can do it by yourself, but the God that I serve, will search for you and find you. There is nowhere that you can go to get away from the presence of God.

Fasting is not easy – Be Strong and Courageous!

Acknowledging your sin leaves you vulnerable – Be Strong and Courageous!

Forgiving yourself and forgiving others can be humbling- Be Strong and Courageous!

And he may not come when you want him to come, but God is an on time GOD.  YES HE IS!

Reflection:  In this season of reflection, repentance, forgiveness and self-denial know that God is your partner in this journey.

Rev. Dr Charles Montgomery

Vineyard Church
Columbus, OH