I feel as though time is standing still. The world is holding its collective breath, waiting to see what happens next.
Attempts at analysis regarding Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Iran, jihadi terrorism, and Israel would take more space than any previous blog post to date.
The war in Israel seems significant and important – yet my mind is screaming at the horrors that it is exhausted, needs a break, and can take no more evil winning in the world.
And I am reminded of two things I learned while journaling Scripture over the past 15 years.
Evil wins until the Anointed One comes and takes His Throne.
But ultimately, the battle has already been won. I am on the winning side. And Evil is not there with me.
It is not about whose side GOD is on. It’s about whether or not I am on God’s side. Evil will think it’s winning. Evil will KEEP thinking it is winning. Evil will try to demoralize those seeking the Good. But those intent on a power grab at the expense of human life, those intent on destroying all that is good and whole, those intent on sowing chaos to feed their plans of tyrannical order, do not understand that Evil does NOT ultimately win in the end.
The Enemy, the orchestrator of suffering and sin, separation from God and Good, was defeated before Time even began. So while it may appear that I am surrounded by evil, that all news is bad, that there is nowhere to stand untainted by a world dripping in evil deeds and ideas and attitudes and plans, that is NOT where I stand.
I stand in the palm of a Sovereign God who calls me FRIEND. It is by the Blood of the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world that I can declare I am on the WINNING SIDE. Even as the darkness swirls around me, I am protected by the LIGHT of the World.
2' The evil of this world is a burden much too heavy for me to bear.
And that is okay because I was not created with the capacity to bear such a heavy burden. That is why God sent His Son to bear THAT VERY BURDEN.
I don’t need to take responsibility for the sins of my government or my friends or my family. I don’t need to carry the weight of war and injustice and suffering and tragedy. It is NOT up to me to solve all the world’s problems – or even to “be right about” what is happening globally or locally and then convince others it is so.
When I start feeling the weight press down on my chest, when I start experiencing the oppression that comes from believing that I in my own strength can influence an epoch, that I can nudge the scales back in favor of good, I am reminded once again that I am incapable of such things. Utterly useless outside the hands of the Potter.
God may choose to use me to accomplish His will, but I am only a clay pot with no power to understand what that will is – and while still on the Potter’s wheel, I am without any capacity to know what I am being created to do.
Only after I am molded and go through the FIRE - and then maybe painted and/or glazed and subjected to FIRE AGAIN, only when the Potter fills me up will I know what I am being used to hold or carry. But this I know. I am NOT being molded and painted and fired to hold and carry the burdens of this world. God alone has that capacity.
Not that I should be apathetic about all that is happening. No, there is an urgency to proclaim GOOD NEWS, an urgency to reveal Truth. And when all avenues close for me in this regard, it is easy again to get discouraged.
There are just too many lies to sift through and expose as deceit and scheming. Too many examples of evil winning to point to and expound upon. The burden is too big. And it gets exhausting.
But that is why we are called to encourage one another. I need encouragement. I need to encourage others. We are called to encourage one another EVEN MORE SO as we see “the day” approaching.
Although I feel as though time is standing still, it is only because it also seems as “the day” is fast approaching – at breakneck speed. We need to encourage each other EVEN MORE SO. (Hebrews 10:25)
I know I have shifted lately from freedom principles to faith principles, but I live according to both. And as the world burns, I want to unequivocally declare my allegiance, my loyalty and my trust in one place alone: In the Creator God of the Universe, my Father in Heaven, my Friend in the now, the Son of Man who took on the sins of the world – including my own, who loved me even though I don’t deserve it, who has a plan for me if only I would let Him guide me through it and stop trying to take the reins myself.
I do not trust in Kings (or governments). I do not trust in Chariots (or armies). I do not trust in Horses (or weapons or policies or elections). I do not place my trust in the plans or the deceitful hearts of men.
No, I trust the God who created a universe so BIG – with beauty even in the smallest particle – and so VAST it is impossible to know yet who knows me intimately – and is carrying out a plan UNFATHOMABLE to human understanding.
And so, in the midst of this fear-induced overwhelming world, I can be full of anticipation and excitement, full of joy and contentment, full of love and compassion.
And I can still LIVE FREE because that is how God made me. That is how God made ALL OF US. What we do with that freedom, THAT is the only burden we bear.
And I know that the yoke of trusting God is so much lighter than carrying even THAT relatively small burden on my own shoulders.
I don’t know what the future holds – I cannot claim to be RIGHT about everything (or anything!) – but I do know Who holds the future – and because I trust Him, I can face today – AND tomorrow – and I can live without fear, in freedom.
So maybe as time is standing still, I am getting a taste of the patience of God – who exists outside of time and space – and He is reminding me to lean on the Everlasting Arms.
These are the birth pains. I wonder how the next contraction will reveal itself.
As we wait in a moment that seems to be stretching and growing instead of moving on to the next moment, are you as excited as I am to see what happens next?