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    SECURITY
    (see also ETERNAL SECURITY)

    A group of botanists went on an expedition into a hard-to-reach location in the Alps, searching for new varieties of flowers. One day as a scientist looked through his binoculars, he saw a beautiful, rare species growing at the bottom of a deep ravine. To reach it, someone would have to be lowered into that gorge. Noticing a local youngster standing nearby, the man asked him if he would help them get the flower. The boy was told that a rope would be tied around his waist and the men would then lower him to the floor of the canyon. Excited yet apprehensive about the adventure, the youngster peered thoughtfully into the chasm. "Wait," he said, "I'll be back," and off he dashed. When he returned, he was accompanied by an older man. Approaching the head botanist, the boy said, "I'll go over the cliff now and get the flower for you, but this man must hold onto the rope. He's my dad!"

    Our Daily Bread.


    Watchman Nee tells about a new convert who came in deep distress to see him. "No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I'm losing my salvation." Nee said, "Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir. You are Jesus Christ's heir because it is for you that He died." We are Christ's heirs, not through our perfection but by means of His grace.

    Watchman Nee.


    F.B. Meyer wrote about two Germans who wanted to climb the Matterhorn. They hired three guides and began their ascent at the steepest and most slippery part. The men roped themselves together in this order: guide, traveler, guide, traveler, guide. They had gone only a little way up the side when the last man lost his footing. He was held up temporarily by the other four, because each had a toehold in the niches they had cut in the ice. But then the next man slipped, and he pulled down the two above him. The only one to stand firm was the first guide, who had driven a spike deep into the ice. Because he held his ground, all the men beneath him regained their footing. F.B. Meyer concluded his story by drawing a spiritual application. He said, "I am like one of those men who slipped, but thank God, I am bound in a living partnership to Christ. And because He stands, I will never perish."

    Our Daily Bread.


    Morris Mandel, on security: When God made the oyster, he guaranteed his absolute economic and social security. He built the oyster a house, his shell, to shelter and protect him from his enemies. When hungry, the oyster simply opens his shell and food rushes in for him. He has freedom from want.

    But when God made the eagle he declared: "The blue sky is the limit -- build your own house!" So the eagle built on the highest mountain. Storms threaten him every day. For food he flies through miles of rain and snow and wind. But think of it, the eagle, not the oyster, is the emblem of America.

    The Jewish Press.


    The story is told of a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relive his fear he asked, "How often do you change the rope?" The monk in charge replied, "Whenever it breaks!"

    Daily Walk, March 30, 1992.


    During initial construction on the Golden Gate Bridge, no safety devices were used and 23 men fell to their deaths. For the final part of the project, however, a large net was used as a safety precaution. At least 10 men fell into it and were saved from certain death. Even more interesting, however, is the fact that 25% more work was accomplished after the net was installed. Why? Because the men had the assurance of their safety, and they were free to wholeheartedly serve the project.

    Unknown.


    The 3-year old felt secure in his father's arms as Dad stood in the middle of the pool. But Dad, for fun, began walking slowly toward the deep end, gently chanting, "Deeper and deeper and deeper," as the water rose higher and higher on the child. The lad's face registered increasing degrees of panic, as he held all the more tightly to his father, who, of course, easily touched the bottom. Had the little boy been able to analyze his situation, he'd have realized there was no reason for increased anxiety. The water's depth in ANY part of the pool was over his head. Even in the shallowest part, had he not been held up, he'd have drowned. His safety anywhere in that pool depended on Dad. At various points in our lives, all of us feel we're getting "out of our depth" -- problems abound, a job is lost, someone dies. Our temptation is to panic, for we feel we've lost control. Yet, as with the child in the pool, the truth is we've never been in control over the most valuable things of life. We've always been held up by the grace of God, our Father, and that does not change. God is never out of his depth, and therefore we're safe when we're "going deeper" than we've ever been.

    Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, 1989, p. 137ff.


    A manager and a sales rep stood looking at a map on which colored pins indicated the company representative in each area. "I'm not going to fire you, Wilson," the manager said, "but I'm loosening your pin a bit just to emphasize the insecurity of your situation."

    Bits & Pieces, May 26, 1994.