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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.



It is like a time portal at my feet.

I chance to look down as I cross a street in my town.  Beneath me is a pint-sized pothole, revealing the brick pavement under the surprisingly thin layer of macadam.  My mind immediately slips through this hole into the past to imagine the clatter of horses’ hooves and wagon wheels, and the murmur of greetings between somber-clad men and women in long, sweeping coats.

It’s a reminder that our modern-day progress is often just a thin coating over historical substructures.

There’s nothing like a crisis to challenge one’s foundation.  As I read the news of what’s happening in Europe, I’ve been wondering how I would fare under such horrific conditions.  Frankly, it’s hard to imagine how I’d hold up.  Might I be like the street in my neighborhood, which simply crumbles over time?

That led me to wonder what Scriptural truth undergirds me.  And this verse surfaced quickly:

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

At a glance, this is a strong, passionate statement of love and commitment.  But it’s stronger than you think.  This uses the Biblical practice of repetition for the sake of adding emphasis – antiquity’s version of the exclamation point.  One scholar translates it this way: “I will not, I will not leave thee; I will never, never, never forsake thee.”

Under the thin macadam of my faith is the brick layer of God’s faithfulness.  I don’t know if I’d crumble under the kind of extreme pressure we’re seeing in Ukraine.  But ultimately, it’s God’s commitment to me that matters.  He drew me to himself when I was his enemy.  He provided salvation through his Son as a free gift.  He initiated, I simply responded.

No matter how hard or dark or treacherous the path we find ourselves on, there is a voice that can make our steps sure, and our hearts strong.

And it says, “I will never, never, NEVER leave you all alone.”

Jesus, with all our hearts we thank you for this promise.  You are our constant companion.  Your faithfulness is the firm foundation under our feet.

Reader: what verse would be the brick foundation for your faith?

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Epilogue: after posting this, a knowledgeable friend told me that the hymn connected to the verse above ("I'll never, no never, no never forsake") has the melody that goes by the title, "Foundation"!

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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