** Staging Environment **

What If You Suddenly Lost Everything?

Dear Friend:

"Then, I heard the rattlesnakes . . . "

I'll never forget when one of my closest friends got to that part of his story. It was September 1961. Hurricane Carla had waltzed across the same "dance floor" Harvey tangoed through this summer. The storm had displaced all manner of wildlife. As water filled my friend's home, he fled to the rafters—and found himself the companion of serpents.

The fear that must've flooded his mind! The relief that must've swept over him when he escaped . . . the heartache that must've rushed in when he saw the mountain of mush his belongings had become.

Many are experiencing the same devastation right now. Our world feels like it's tumbling. Ravaging wildfires, hurricane after hurricane, earthquakes, murmurs of nuclear war, the mass murders in Las Vegas, people divided over everything . . .

In this chaos, my mind goes to Abraham trudging up Mount Moriah with Isaac. Isaac, that long-awaited, fulfilled promise . . . the great sacrifice God asked Abraham to make. Unlike my friend, Abraham knew what loss awaited him at the summit—or at least he thought he did.

What enabled the patriarch to lift his sandaled foot and take each next step? What sustained my friend for two days trapped in his attic?

COURAGE! Bravery, backbone, spunk . . . whatever it's called, it's never met its match. The heights of the Himalayas encourage it. The depths of the Caribbean excite it. COURAGE! It leads a couple to counseling, gets the grieving out of bed, gives the devastated gumption to begin again. COURAGE! David had it when he grabbed his sling. Job showed it when covered with boils.

COURAGE! It enables us to believe God is sovereign, and because He is, not only our times are in His hands, but everything we own and everyone we love.

Courage loosens our grip on everything else so we can hold tenaciously to Him. That's why God's command to Joshua is so timeless: "Be strong and very courageous!" (Joshua 1:7).

For 38 years, Insight for Living Ministries has helped individuals face life with the God-given guts that only come from studying and applying His Word.

Your financial support this month will help people facing unthinkable circumstances find courage to persevere. Will you show them they're not alone by sending a generous donation today?

When you do, please request Carol Kent's book When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances. Her testimony of rebuilding with the courage that comes from a deep-down knowledge of God's Truth will invigorate you. If you've already given as a Monthly Companion, please call 1-800-246-2420 to request your copy of this powerful book.

Let's be the difference between someone giving up and starting anew. Let's show the world we're together, and we're courageous.

Grateful we're not alone,

Chuck Swindoll
Charles R. Swindoll

photo: flooded home 'When I Lay My Isaac Down' by Carol Kent ... Request Yours