I did something a little bit different today. Some of my friends were politely asking me to do some more audio posts. I did one yesterday and then for some reason, after editing, it was silent. I took it as a sign 😉
Today, I have the written post below and the same post in audio format for those who prefer it that way. You can download or just hit the play button below.
I’m a little like King David: I think we share an emotional profile. Either we are literally gasping for breath in awe of God’s holiness and awesomeness or we’re gasping for breath, crying out to God, asking Him how long He will forsake us. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground — no slow and steady breathing — for me and King Dave.
I know I don’t want to change who I am (I am learning deeply about how to be content with who God made me), but the emotional pendulum swings that are part of my makeup can be exhausting.
I worry. I fret. I wonder, “What if?” And when I worry and fret and wonder, the emotion builds up and overflows in ways I am not proud of. It often involves avoidance and living in the pretend world of “tomorrow” — the fictional land where all problems get fixed, work gets done, and restitutions are made.
This week, the pendulum has swung…a few times. One minute I can be so confident in who God is and who I am and my faith in unshakeable. The next minute I sit, tears rolling down my cheeks, wondering where God is. I ask, “If He loves me so much, why I can’t see it or feel it?”
I was talking with a friend yesterday and I told her that the only thing that got me through this past year was the Spirit’s use of Scripture in my heart. It’s the only way I get through any day. When I am tempted to shake my fist and ask God why, His Words wash over my heart.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. —James 1:2
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? —Romans 8:31
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. —Revelation 2:2-3
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. —Galatians 6:9-10
And on and on it goes.
Because my soul is fortified with God’s Word, the Spirit can (and does!) use it to fight for me, even when I don’t have the strength to fight for myself.
The sword of God’s Word is our only offensive weapon in this battle of life. If we want to win, we must not merely defend ourselves, but also truly do battle with the forces that work against us.
But we can’t do battle without our Sword. I could never fight the emotions and confusion and questioning that rages within me without a weapon. God’s Word, read daily and repeatedly and systematically is the weapon we need. It fights in the coldest storms and the darkest nights.
As we look toward the busy holiday season with all its festivities, beauty, and excitement, let me encourage you to look toward the Word of God, both the written Word and the Word Incarnate. The longer I live, the more convinced I am—in my heart as well as my head—that God’s Word is what each of us needs most. It’s what the world needs most. It is the answer to poverty, social justice, education, parenting, marriage, worry, doubt, fear, health, obesity, work ethic, finances, and love. We sit at our computers complaining about politics on Facebook or we sit glued to the TV enamored with the charmed life with others while our Bibles are covered in a fine layer of dust, mirroring the much deeper layer of dust on our hearts.
I used to want to do great things with my life. I have so many dreams and ideas and hopes and plans. They aren’t bad, and I hope I get to do some of them someday. But I know, more than anything, my life is about getting God’s Word into people’s hands and hearts.
Many (1800+!) languages around the world wait for God’s Word to be written in a way they can understand. And that’s why our family is with Wycliffe Bible Translators, doing our part to ensure people have to wait no more.
And many people here in the U.S., with our 400+ English versions to choose from, cry out to God in the midst of battle for Him to come and rescue them while their weapon sits unused, unsharpened. And that’s why I won’t stop talking about God’s Word and encouraging others to find their sustenance in “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” I can think of no better way to spend my life than encouraging others to take up their sword and FIGHT!
So what about you? Do you worry, question, and fret? Do you wonder where God is? Do you ask God what He is doing in your life and when He is going to come rescue you? I won’t say the battle is easy. Even with our weapon life is a tough, tough assault. But won’t you at least try? Won’t you at least use what you have? He will fight for you. He will fight for me. Won’t we let Him?
Oh, and the photo? Well, this post was going to be about a walk our family took last weekend so those were the photos I had ready. But as often happens, I start typing and realize God has something entirely different to say through my words. I just go with it.