Papa Joe’s Solid Ground

No Reason To Fear

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Tell me men, have you ever been overcome with fear?  No hope, all alone with no answers, no direction, and no one to turn to for help?  At a time like this, we as men, can get pretty desperate and allow fear to settle in.  It’s even worse if we don’t know where to go for assistance.  Doubt comes into play, anxiety sets in, and before you know it here comes fear which will stop us dead in our tracks.

I remember sometime ago some good friends of mine, that I used to go fishing with, invited me to go deer hunting with them.  Now being a New York City boy I had never been hunting in my life, as a matter of fact my early reasoning to say no thank you, didn’t fly.  My first excuse, “Men I don’t own a rifle, and almost before I could get the rest of the words out of my mouth I heard from my good friend, “I have one you can borrow!”  Well, there went that excuse.  The next claim in my defense for not going was that I had no hunting outfit to wear.  Again before I could continue another one of my buds yells out, “I have an extra suit you can borrow Joe.  My son isn’t going this year.!”

Needles to say I ran out of excuses, and gave them my word I would go on the trip.  I actually started looking forward to it.  Then a week prior to the trip my first buddy that volunteered his extra rifle informed me that one of his family members decided to attend, and he would need that rifle.  Well obviously I now needed to make, a not so inexpensive, purchase so I could keep my word and attend.  The next thing that happened was my other bud that volunteered his extra hunting suit.  He needed it for his son that decided to go.  Five Hundred plus dollars, and a week later I was on my way.

So nine of us head out to Bois Blanc Island just north of Cheboygan, Michigan.  We arrived via ferry with a a Chevy Suburban, and loaded up with plenty of fire power ready to bring back some venison.  After we settled in it was now time for the hunt.  We loaded up the Suburban with our weapons, and proceeded into the woods planning to drop one man off at a time leaving a safe distance in between hunters.  All of a sudden the vehicle makes an abrupt stop, doors fly open, guns are pulled out with men rushing to the roadside, rifles pointed, and ready to fire at a dear that was long gone by the time the commotion was over.  My first thought was,“You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m a city boy, and even I know better than that.”

Anyway it was my turn to be dropped off down the road.  My compass said I was entering the woods north, which means exit south on my return trip out of the woods.  Simple enough, right?  Didn’t see any deer I could get a clear shot at, and it was starting to get dark, so time to head out.  South right?  All of a sudden the woods got dark, as I’m walking the trees are getting closer together, and I found myself in a swamp that wasn’t there on my way in.  In this city boy’s head I was heading deeper into the forest, and my compass was no longer working.  My pace picked up as fear set in.  That brand new hunting suit looked 30 years old as I squeezed through the trees in a panic.  I emptied my 14 shot 9 mm listening for return fire, (seen that in a movie), nothing.  Feared clouded my judgment, and brought me to my knees.  God finally sat me down and clearly said, Joe take a deep breath, rely on your compass all will be fine.

With His assurance I got up, proceeded south, and found the road less than a hundred yards away.  Men, God’s word is true.  Standing on His promises, trusting in Him with all our heart, will never give us cause to fear.  Don’t allow fear to get a grip on you.  Our Lord has conquered fear, death, and so much more. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.   And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Seek the Adventure, Strength and Honor, Papa Joe