Is It Really So? Victory Series, Part 12


I had planned our trek to Fort Napoleon down to the minutest detail. Though it was supposedly located on the outskirts of my hometown, it wasn't until I returned back home for a visit as an adult that I became aware of its existence. Nonetheless, when I read about it in the guidebook, I wrote down the exact location along with the correct tram stop.

But as we stepped out of the tram, I began to have my doubts! The fort was supposed to be on my left, but all I could see were houses and dunes. Was it possible that I had made a mistake?

I decided that it would be wisest to double check my directions before we ventured out into the great, wide, unknown expanse of dunes, and the first person I spotted was a lady crossing the road. A local, without a doubt! And as soon as she reached us, I asked for her help.

"Fort Napoleon?" She repeated, looking puzzled. "Ja maar… Are you sure it's in this neighbourhood?"

Hum. It seemed I wasn't the only one who had never heard of this fort! "No, I'm not sure," I responded. "That's why I'm asking for your help!"

"Ja maar…"

Just then a biker stopped beside us. It was clear that he was British, nonetheless, not only did he speak to us in French, he also knew the location of Fort Napoleon! "You're in the right neighbourhood, mate!" (No, he actually didn't say "mate". That's too Australian!). "Just cross the road, and turn left. The fort's about 50 meters to your right!"

That sure was nice of him! However, I realized later that if I had persisted on my original path, I would have reached the fort without having to ask questions! What if he hadn't come along? My self-doubt would have made me listen to the local lady, and we would have never found our destination!

Doubt can be very dangerous at times. Imagine having to ask directions late at night at the Bronx. Or what if you doubt that you should see a doctor about your chest pains?

Doubt relating to victory over an addiction can be deadly as well. "Maybe I'm free because I just out grew it!" This kind of doubt leads to mistrust in the One who liberated us from our awful, dungy prison, and this kind of doubt will make us tumble right back into our addictions. Woe to those who doubt, for they will find themselves once again in the muddy goo of their former lover (pet sin)!

"Yes - and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles." (Matt 21:21)

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see." (Heb 11:1 The Message)

Where is that fort again? I turned right and then left … Or did he say turn left and then right? I'm so confused … Maybe he was wrong! Maybe it's not here at all! Maybe we should just forget this whole adventure and take the tram back into town!

Rob Chaffart

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