Psalms 38: My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it is also gone from me.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
How often over the last couple of weeks have I vacillated between two emotions.
Fear of man and fear of God.
Wrestling through the night I have lain awake shaking like a drunkard longing for a drink. The daytime no better as I walked numbly through the day to day routine, stomach churning between two powerful emotions threatening to rip me clean into a million pieces.
This is not a battle between good and evil. There is no devil sitting on one shoulder and a angel on the other. This is a war within me. The ultimate battle of who I am really when push comes to shove. This is not about how much bible I can quote, how many church services I attend, how much money I give, how many poor people I help. This is about me, little old me, at the end of the day, who am I really?
Let’s face it, this is a question that we all need to be asking ourselves right now. Who are you really?
You might be wondering why I am even writing this and sometimes I wonder the same thing. It seems that maybe I am alone in my journey. It seems that everyone else is just fine.
You have basically two schools of thought at the moment. The judgment people. They are the ones screaming God’s wrath is coming. Don’t get me wrong there is a large amount of truth in that. The Day of The Lord is at hand. Then you have the all is well people. Living as if life is going to continue on forever. Nothing is wrong, nothing is coming and God is not going to do anything for a very long time. I believe these people need a reality check, at the very least turn on the news every once in awhile.
It is in this light that my world came to a crashing halt. It is funny how that you can be going about life and suddenly everything turns on a dime. The Lord just reaches down and I believe in mercy, stops you dead in your tracks.
I had one such moment just last Friday night.
It was late, we had just gotten home after the football game, I had to go back to the school to pick up a forgotten item. As nice as it is my daughter can now drive. She still cannot drive after 11:00 pm and so that meant I had to return to the school. I didn’t mind really as it was important for her friend who was staying the night with us. Soon after returning home I logged on to Facebook to see what was posted about the game and a good friend who keeps up with current events had posted an event that had occurred overseas.
Even now days later to type it out still gives me the shakes. However for you to understand why I am going through this particular test, you must understand the catalyst that brought it about.
The picture showed 4 Muslim men, holding 4 naked Christian infants, dangling by their arms mid-air while they stomped their heads until they had crushed them to death. Even now I write this with trembling hands and blurry vision because I am shaking like a leaf at the horror.
This is where sin has led us. This is what sin cost the Savior.
Since that night I have fought within my own self of my own faith. Do I have the kind of faith these parents have to see this kind of atrocity and still believe that Jehovah is good? Before you judge me, ask yourself honestly do you? It’s really easy to sit on this side of the world with our children tucked in safely each night and declare Jehovah faithful.
What if you were that mom standing there in the background and that was your precious little girl/boy being crushed by evil men who viewed your child’s life as nothing more than garbage under their feet?
I have felt like the Psalmist allot over the past few days, trembling over the flood of ungodly men who made him afraid at times and at other times confidently knowing that Jehovah was a very present help in trouble.
I’ve come to realize allot about myself over the past few days. I have done allot of soul searching and I do know Jehovah is faithful while at the same time realizing my propensity to always fail. I’m not so sure about my own self.
Realizing that He is faithful still doesn’t help me understand how that fits in with those poor children dying in such a cruel way, but then I’m not going to always understand His ways that are so much greater than ours. He reminded me that the only difference between them (the evil men) and us is that they see it from a religious view/right given by their god, we just kill them legally before they are even born without acknowledging the Creator that made them specifically with a purpose and plan.
I know that Friday night I came home a pretty confident person, that I knew allot about who I was and should that faith ever be tested I wouldn’t bat an eye. Then my whole world flipped on it’s ear. You know what I’m glad it did really. Before I had confidence in me. Look at me; I know allot of the Word, I’m a strong Christian, blah, blah, blah… God knew I needed a shaking…
Shake He did and then some. I thought the shaking would never end.
My confidence, my hope, my strength lies in Him alone. I cannot boast of anything outside of His faithfulness. If I perish at the hands of madmen so be it, but it won’t be because I have the strength to do so, because He will have to give me the strength. Right now I don’t have it. Right now it scares me. Right now I want to gather all my family close and hide in a cave somewhere. I know you are saying that’s not faith Shawn and you are 100% right, it’s not at all. I am learning that I don’t have it all together and that is okay. That is what He is showing me. That I don’t have to be super Christian all of the time. That’s His faithfulness isn’t swayed by what I do or don’t do. He loves me just as I am. He sees me in my weakness and He works patiently with me to get me where I need to be.
I am required to be honest before Him. Honestly I’m not signing me or my family up for beheadings, are you? I’m not signing up for persecutions, are you?
What I am signing us up for is to be STILL, to KNOW, HE is GOD!
No matter what happens in life, He is God. I would rather face my fears with Him than hide in the closet without Him.
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears.
Finally I learned something; see it’s good to cry out.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth His trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Does that mean all those people going through atrocities don’t trust the LORD, absolutely not. It just means that His reward for them is so much greater than we can even see. Secretly we all hope to never experience what they are going through, that is if we are honest. We don’t mind praying as long as it stays on the other side of the world. Brothers, sisters it is already here. You and I are facing a time such as we have never known before and what we do in these our final hours is so very important.
I don’t have the answer for you except to stay on the LORD for strength and should it come He will give us the strength we need to endure.
He said to occupy until He comes but that didn’t mean not to prepare.
Make sure you are ready.
When I faced the reality of what might possibly be, I realized that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. I prayed and cried, and prayed and cried some more. Jack doing his best to encourage me. It was just something and is something God is requiring me to go through.
Saturday while at Hobby Lobby I was walking down the aisle with pictures, not really looking, heading to the back of the store for beads. When a frame caught my eye. I stopped to check out the frame and right there in Hobby Lobby I cried again, There written within the frame was the beautiful Psalms 46 ~ The Lord is my Refuge & Strength a very present help in Trouble ~ Now it hangs prominately in a place that I see it often so I can be reminded that He is always a refuge and strength and that those mountains can shake and quake all they want to. Me, I’m going to be STILL & KNOW~ HE is GOD~
Much love to all~
I leave you with a beautiful song by the late Rich Mullins: