Encouragement From The Word

O, happy day?!

Do you have any irrational fears?  That’s typically what a “phobia” is:  an irrational fear, or a superstition.  Remember, “Walk on a crack, break your mother’s fridayback”?  Or how about “bad luck” for 7 years if you break a mirror.  All silliness…right?

Today is Friday the 13th.  Motorcycle enthusiasts in Ontario love this day, because they typically take the day off and ride their hogs to the otherwise idyllic town of Port Dover, Ontario, for a rally.  But some people have irrational fears about the number thirteen, especially when it lands on a Friday.

Any of these superstitions and phobias may haunt us as children, but hopefully, we grow out of them.  And as followers of Jesus, we don’t believe in “bad luck” anyway; we don’t even believe in “good luck”, because, as Christian writer Wayne Oates put it in his book title, luck is a “secular faith”.

In some ways, saying “good luck” to someone, if we stop to think about it, is about the same as saying, “May the force be with you.”  It may be intended as well-wishing, but in the end it is quite impersonal.

One of my university professors, a good Dutch Calvinist, never wished us good luck when giving us an examination; rather, he said, “I wish you the best of success.”  In other words, he wanted us to do well, but he knew that there was no impersonal force, or luck, that was going to help us at this stage; if we hadn’t studied, we were up the creek.  But he wanted us to succeed.

As followers of Jesus, we don’t need impersonal forces to aid us; we have the God of the universe!  Who needs “luck” or “the force” when we have the Lord of heaven and earth?!

I hope that Friday the 13th is for you, as it is for me, another day to praise the Lord and live for him – not a day to put off otherwise healthy and excellent activity.  Enjoy the day!

I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.  Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps” (Psalm 121.1-4, NLT).

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