“Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.”
Bad news multiplies but the righteous run to the LORD and are saved. It may not be an actual Bible verse…..but it could be. One of the problems with being in dire straits such as my family have been navigating the last year and a half is well-meaning people with the heart but not the actual resources to help. It’s not that I do not appreciate being loved and cared about so very much — I love my friends dearly and I know they do whatever they can and want to do more to speed the process of recovery along. I cherish their hearts more than I can say.
Nonetheless, many, even good, godly people, in their longing to show concern and compassion, unconsciously betray that they do not really trust God on my behalf. They say the right words but imperfectly live them out when push comes to shove — as we all do at various times so please do not take this as a self-righteous slam. I can be as guilty of this as the next person. But, being in this situation with my family has really brought out in stark relief just how unintentionally hurtful it can be to question a person’s faithfulness and sincerity of faith in the name of trying make helpful suggestions that may seem logical but may run counter to God’s purposes for allowing the difficulty and His way of getting through it and arriving at the best solution He has in mind.
It is not surprising in one way, that people who really do care about me and want the best for me urge me toward what seems to be the most immediate, obvious, easiest solution. They so dearly want to make things better for me and a thing can appear to be the “logical” solution, albeit a temporary one, without actually being in line with coming under the lesson that God is trying to teach me. I have done the easy, the obvious, the boxed in “I don’t have any other choice” options most of my life. It NEVER ends well! I am so done with that route.
What if instead of compromising and taking what seems to be the easy way out, the immediate, temporary stop gap solution, I actually stood my ground and said in all sincerity of faith, “No, I won’t run away or turn aside or compromise because the way looks daunting and difficult. Fo!r once, I am going to stick this out and try God’s way. See how it turns out when I walk through the difficulty instead of wimping out and taking second best.” What if instead of running away from the fear and doubt, I stood up on the Rock on which I stand, stared down the barrel of my guns of faith like an old-fashioned gunslinger and said, “Run away fear!! Make my day!” in the immortal words of Mr. Eastwood.
In taking such a stance, I have been accused of being illogical, impractical, out of touch with reality, stubborn, prideful. However, putting myself in God’s hands is the single most logical and practical thing I can do when I do not know what to do on my own. Even if I am out of touch in any way — I am completely within His touch and He is more in touch with the entire big picture than anyone else. He knows what needs to happen for me to get where He wants me. My pride is in being a beloved DAUGHTER OF THE ONE TRUE KING and utterly and implicitly trusting that He is doing good for me in all this. If that makes me stubborn, so be it. I will be God-stubborn any day of the week rather than turning aside to lesser solutions.
I have made my choice. No matter how difficult it gets, no matter how much another way seems faster, easier, more comfortable, convenient, expedient — I am going with God’s way because I know it is the route to the greatest blessing and that’s what I want more than the fleeting approval of man, even well-meaning Christians who cannot see past their own fears for me and trust that the LORD is guiding me in the true paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. When all is said and done, I have to believe that we will all turn and see the glory of what He has done in our lives and marvel at how amazing it is that He could take such a twisted, ugly, broken down mess of a situation and turn it into something so glorious that only He could have done it.
I know it is difficult and completely human to have doubts and fears and seek logical explanations and solutions, especially when someone you care about is hurting and in trouble. But God doesn’t always work like that. His way takes faith of the Indiana Jones kind where you have to take the step before you see the way. So if you want to be really helpful, please believe me when I say my solution is to trust God and trust Him with me not to let us fall. He never has yet — I can see no reason He would start now! This is real “rubber hits the road faith.”
Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.
2 Samuel 23
I do get where people are coming from when they talk about maybe God is sending me in another direction, a different destination. More than one person has pointed to the story of Joseph who took a long round about way to get to his blessing as well. Yes, sometimes God does work that way. It is not outside the realm of possibility that God will use a strategy like that in some cases. However, in my case the story He keeps bringing me back to is the Israelites boxed in at the Red Sea with nowhere to go:
But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.
Sometimes the order is indeed, “MOVE!” But sometimes, and in my case I am firmly convinced that God has told me to hold my ground and so I shall do. When He says move, it is to go FORWARD, not back, no matter how insane it may look in front of me. I choose to be like Shammah and hold the place God has assigned and trust Him to bring about the victory that is humanly impossible no matter what the circumstances look like around me! You may not trust me to know what I am doing, but please trust God on my behalf, because He always knows what He is doing!
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am NOT ashamed for I KNOW in WHOM I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12
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