Skating on Thin Ice

Written By: Chris Mace

On Thin Ice
Skating on Long Pong, Little Marsh Road, Mount Desert Island, Maine

By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast(Job 37:10).

As kids, we loved to skate on a frog pond beside railroad tracks that ran through the middle of our village. While we skated, we warmed ourselves beside, or cooked an occasional hotdog over, a fire of scavenged wood or old, cast off tires garnered from villagers. However, before we were allowed to skate, our Dad or our friends’ Dad always went the first time and checked the thickness of the pond’s ice.

“Skating on thin ice” is more than an idiom. It is a warning that we should not only be alert but be pre-prepared. Being prepared may prevent disastrous repercussions from poorly thought out or willfully bad choices that can derail one’s future. This is true for our spiritual lives as well. Knowing and living by guiding principles will help prevent us from making decisions with negative consequences because “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12) One wise applicable biblical principle to follow when we make choices is found in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your way acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” If that is true, God’s purposes are the best ones to know and to personally apply because “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).

Living well is increasingly difficult in a chaotic culture where standards are fluid, relative, and based on whatever we want or think about the circumstance facing us. The ethical ice is thin when there is no substantial moral foundation to hold us up. Although we have been created with the capacity to act in the image of God, we will not be people of intention and integrity and or have stability without guiding principle by which we decide to live and without which we become side tracked or derailed.

Scriptures clearly indicate God’s desires and purposes for us are always good and involve the Moral Law of loving God with all our being and others as we love ourselves, Because we all have difficulty with that kind of selflessness, we fail in those endeavors, mar that special image, and need forgiveness and reconciliation with God and neighbors. We choose whether or not to seek those. But our choices do not negate the overarching fact that we need forgiveness. Thankfully, God is not willing any should be estranged from Him or perish without Him and is wants to redeem all who seek Him in truth. So, basing one’s life principles on God’s Word or wisdom and not on cultural leanings is crucial.

Christ is God’s wisdom and is the consistent, solid, immutable foundation of the Christian faith. That fact was expressed in “How Firm a Foundation”, a hymn written in 1787. It is still sung in Protestant churches today:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can be said than to you God hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be near thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”

If we choose Jesus, we will not skate through life on thin ice.


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