Exodus 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

Did you know that God led the Israelites out of Egypt the REALLY REALLY long way to the promised land because He knew if they faced war they might “change their minds” and turn toward Egypt once again?

It begs the question: What would make you change your mind? Turn back? Give up?

I often wonder if New Englanders have gone soft…

This is New England. Yet for the past two days we were more freakishly scared of snowfall than I have seen in recent memory. What happened to the New England I grew up in? We used to go to school no matter what the weatherman said. Now parents get a cancellation phone call the NIGHT BEFORE the snow even starts coming down. I say again – snow isn’t yet falling and school gets cancelled! Both of my children could have gone to school and come back before one flake accumulated in our yard yesterday. Times have changed. Why do we act like it’s the blizzard of ’78 every time we see the 6-snowflake graphic on the 5-day forecast?

In my day we used to walk uphill both ways to school in three feet of snow with canvas shoes on and 12-5 pound books in our bags (exaggeration intended). Now the whole neighborhood rushes the grocery store to stockpile because 12-18″ are expected.

What happened? We let the snow get the best of us. We changed our minds. We’re letting the forecast diminish our fortitude. We’re acting like a bunch of South Carolina softies.

Is there cause for concern when snow is on the way? Yes. The #1 concern should be whether our snow man is bigger than the neighbors snow man! But I digress….

Is there something that would make you change your mind when it comes to following Christ? Is there a life “forecast” that would make you turn back on your faith, give up on your standards, or wane in conviction?

If there is one problem with the Church of today its that we’ve gotten soft. Our ancestors in the faith were cut in half, crucified, torn in two, burned at the stake, stoned and beheaded. Today we lose heart if our 401k tanks! We cry out to God, “Why?” when our boss/coworker is calloused.

One of my absolute favorite verses that radically convicts me comes from Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

The Holy Spirit hits me with that verse every time I got into panic mode because my checking account dips below $25.00. Is there really cause for panic when I still have $25.00? I don’t think so.

Church, let’s get back to fierce Christian faith. Let’s get back to taking the best the devil has to offer with the fortitude of a first century Christian. Don’t let whatever is bugging you right now change your mind or turn you back. It could be worse, much worse.

And if it’s anything like the snow we had yesterday . . . (ha ha ha) . . . we have nothing to worry about!