God’s response to His Follower’s Fear.
Life can be so hard.
Simple words. But I can almost hear the collective “Amen” breathed as I type them.
The monotonous beeps from a hospital room. The empty bassinet. The foreclosure note. Marble headstones on fresh turned earth. Broken vows. Addiction. Rejection.
Today, I read a blog post from author, Lysa Terkeurst, a woman whose words have inspired and motivated me for many years. You can read her post here but the long and short of it is that her husband has been repeatedly unfaithful despite nearly two years of counsel, forgiveness, and seeking reconciliation. And she has decided to pursue a divorce.
My heart is breaking for her.
I’m so thankful for the numerous comments that have flooded her facebook page. Comments of encouragement and prayer. Surely someone in her ministry is filtering out the ugly. Lord knows she’s bore enough of the ugly for the last two years. One commented the familiar verse, 1 Peter 5:8-9,
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
But don’t let the familiarity cancel out the truth.
Friends, Lysa Terkeurst’s marriage is not immune to infidelity and divorce. And the simple fact is that neither is mine. And neither is yours. We have an enemy that is very much against us and very much against the work that we can do for the kingdom of God.
And do you know, that my immediate fleshly response to reading of Lysa’s pain was one of self-preservation?
My thought was like that of Moses in front of the burning bush when he says, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11)
Who am I, Lord? I’m not able to bear that hurt. I’d much rather just delete this tiny, little space of the internet you’ve called me to than to bear the temptation, the pain, that this enemy would throw my way to try and thwart me.
And in a way, I’m so tempted to not stop there but to just build up walls all over the place. A wall of protection with my own husband on the other side. With my friends on the other side, because relationships aren’t easy. With God, himself, on the other side, because part of the pain of growing older is knowing that you can’t escape the pain, but maybe you can delay it just a little longer if you play it safe.
How are you playing it safe?
As Christians, we aren’t immune to trials.
John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
Don’t skim over any part of it, Friend. We will have tribulation. But Jesus has overcome the world.
1 John 4:4, “For you, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Do you know what God said to Moses in response to his “Who am I?” He said, “I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:12.)
“I will be with you, Lysa.”
“I will be with you, Shanna.”
The Great I am is with you, Friend.
So, once again, how are you playing it safe?
And let’s just not. Let’s just follow God where ever he may lead us. Let’s be clothed in strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25). Let’s speak the truth, even when our voice shakes. Let’s resist the devil, standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:9). Let’s find our hiding place in Jesus’ will. It’s by His grace and His strength that we are able.
Finally, Friend, let us pray for one another (James 5:16). Pray for the Terkeurst family. Pray for my family. I’ll be praying for yours.
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