“the people that know their God shall stand firm”
Daniel 11:32

Wading in the warm gulf waters along the shore during off-season is a unique Florida treat.  
Few people come to explore the ocean’s wonders as summer winds down and prepares to give way
to cooler prospects.  The horizon’s delightful clouds slowly reform themselves into an assortment of puffy
formations, peaking my imagination: a dragon with its extensive tail, three Casper ghosts with bulging eyes,
and a baby chick pecking the blue sky below.  Effortlessly gliding above in amazing swiftness are seven dark
pelicans with enormous wings spread, looking prehistoric and on a mission from behind to beyond.  Where
they came from and where they are going at such speed is only for them to know as they swoop and turn in
unison, disappearing as quickly as they appeared.  The balmy quiet is a paradise on earth, although
temporary, and with all its comfort no challenge will bid for our attention today.  This is the placid life which so
many people covet; even Christians.

There’s no need to venture out to sea where dangers lurk and uncertainty lures.  The modest fishing
schooner caught up in a storm, tossing and turning, experiencing death defying circumstances is a world
away.  But what of the ones who brave the tempests of the deep?  Have they not also conquered adversity
and watched the deliverance of the Lord?  Have they not gone through the hardships which have molded
them into the strong and steadfast individuals
which they have become?

Those who accept challenges, moving forward with determination and single mindedness with their eyes on
the prize, well know their own weaknesses and have overcome them by the deliverance of God Himself.  In
contrast, those who chose the easy path know little of God’s grace and mercy.  
They have performed very little self examination, nor endured much self-emptying: the very things which
make us whole and transformed into the image of Christ.  They haven’t known the miracles,
nor the magnificent wonders brought about by the hand of a mighty God.  They know no anointing or
revelation of His being, satisfying themselves in the mire of complacency, which is no satisfaction at all.

When the challenges come upon you, and they will, never give up.  Don’t succumb to turning the other way
and walking the path of ease and escape.  Determine to trust in God no matter what.  
God always delivers those whose faith is placed in Him.  Every time the result is victory,
and every time you become stronger and a servant who can be counted upon.