The other morning I woke with a heavy heart. I honestly wanted to pull the covers back up and remain in bed all day. But I begrudgingly forced myself from my cocoon of comfort and made my way downstairs.
My heart cried out over my bowl of Cheerios, “Lord, this world is going mad. I feel overwhelmed. Hate and lies are being heralded as truth and are feeding the ever growing monster of evil. Even our own nation screams tolerance, but then bullies those who seek to hold true to their Christian beliefs.”
It felt like too much that morning. I felt depleted of strength and battle-weary. I sat in my quiet kitchen with my children still sound asleep. My children! “Lord, how do I raise those kids upstairs in a climate becoming more hostile to Your Word? Father, how do I help them follow You when the world screams, ‘follow us?’ “
Tears ran down my face as I felt the weight of a changing tide. Suddenly, I wanted so much to talk to Daniel’s mother. How did she raise a son who boldly stood against the culture of his time has he refused to bow to the idol of the day, even though it meant death by hungry lions?
At that moment I felt God smile. I felt His smile in my soul. It was like a warm bath for my weary heart.
My Word. I felt the words more than heard them.
I opened my Bible to Psalm 118, and there staring back at me was verse six: “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid….” my eyes looked a little further down to verse eight: “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” As if knowing where they were going, my fingers turned to Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” And then finally, I found my way back to Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word.”
My heart was full and strengthened. I may not have gotten to talk to Daniel’s mama, but God had given me a battle plan.
- Don’t be afraid because God—Yahweh—King of angel armies—Creator—The All Powerful One—Love itself is with me. Wow!
- Take refuge in God, not man.
- Pray for and show godly love for others including those who don’t show love for Him.
- Obey God’s Word. While I can’t force anyone else to love, cherish and obey His Word, I can love, cherish and obey it. And by following His Word, I can be an example of God’s love to others.
My Shortened Battle Plan:
1 – Don’t be afraid
2 – Trust in God
3 – Love and pray for enemies
4 – Hold fast to God’s Word
Does this battle plan solve all of the world’s problems? I wish! but no.
Is everything suddenly all roses and rainbows? Definitely not.
Did my heart receive a word from God that morning? Absolutely.
Did God give me strength to face another day? Without a doubt.
I truly believe with all my heart that the key to remaining strong in the precarious days to come, is by staying in God’s Word and asking Him to reveal Himself through it. (And I think Daniel would agree!)
May we find our comfort, our joy and our peace through the pages of God’s Word and in the person of Jesus.