Saturday, May 16, 2015
Fall 2012 Be Not Afraid
It's so amazing how our bodies and our minds are so connected to our spiritual lives, isn't it? When I am sick and hurting, I begin to doubt myself, to worry, to fret. Are my problems larger when I am ill? Of course not! But just like alcohol, illness loosens my control, frays my edges. When I find myself weakening, when I feel the pain start... that is the sign that I need to pray. Not necessarily to pray for healing (though of course that is what I'd like!), but time to pray for God's strength, God's patience, God's will. Time to fertilize that protective hedge, because those first signs of illness are a signal - and the attack will come. At least for me, it will come every time.
But there's no need for despair! Yes, that attack comes every time. Yet as my relationship with Christ deepens, that protective hedge widens and thickens. The fears and anxieties, those prying clawing little doubts, placed so carefully in front of me by one who wishes me harm... all of those become quieter, muffled by my Lord. That special living relationship grows and protects me from harm. Not from the harm of the broken world, but from the harm of doubting my Creator. That seems so trite - a bit like the paralyzed fellow who was told that his sins were forgiven. At first you want to say "What??? What the heck? Sins seem rather trivial when we are talking about useless legs! Let's stay on the subject here!" But after Christ grows in your heart, after a certain amount of time tending this new garden, suddenly those legs are not the point at all. Instead you just want to fall on your knees and thank God, thank you thank you thank you, for forgiving my sins. Because yeah, those illnesses and paralyzing health issues are not the point at all. They are simply foggy glass in front of Reality.
So today, as I sit here, chest aching, throat sore, head throbbing, skin itchy, joints aching, I feel very weak and very strong. I am quite aware of how pitifully weak I am - I cannot beat these allergies, this toxicity. This broken world is stronger than I am, and someday it will beat this body that I have right now. It will think that it has won. And that is where I am so very strong - because I will go on after this world has ended. The world can hurt this body and kill this body, but it cannot kill me. I have a flame inside and my name is written on His hands. He will come for me on a white horse with the armies of heaven. And His name is Faithful and True. And I will have Peace.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
John 14: 27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands"