However, the pathway before me is daunting. It's dark and cold. And there is risk and danger all the way across. Even suited up with layers of warm clothes the trip is still going to be miserable. And if I fall into one of those holes I'll really be miserable. I could even get trapped. Then what?
And so, it is with my life; the unknown freezes me with fear, unable to move forward. As long as I allow the real as well as imagined challenges to keep me back from the journey, I won't be able to find out what the light and warmth will bring me over there.
Verse 2 of the song I'm learning feeds me Truth, an excellent weapon against fear.
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
The reason I can set aside fear is the fact that God, the great I AM, is with me. I don't need to be distressed or even surprised because (For) the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, all-sufficient One is MY Sovereign, MY Provider, MY Protector, MY LORD. There is none other above or beyond or beside Him and He tells me I am His and He is MINE.
"But now, this is what the LORD says -
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
'Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
you are mine.'" Isaiah 43:1
By His very nature and character My God 'will still give me aid'. The word still right there speaks to me. Even if I'm in the midst of a seemingly impossible dilemma My God will help me. Even if I'm in a horrific situation I contributed to or caused myself, My God will help me. No matter what, My God is at the ready and will be provide everything I need according to His riches in glory. Hallelujah
"I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand -
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand."
The kind of aid My God delivers to me is the kind that revives my courage, bolsters my commitment, and reinforces my confidence. His help is powerful and precious enough to bring me to stand erect as I face any set of trials.
HAH, but not because I I suddenly grow an invincible backbone. I'm able to make my way in this troubled world because My God supports my frame with His holy and invincible hand.
"No, in all these [hardships] we are more than conquerors through him who loves us." Romans 8:37
My response to these powerful images are three-fold.
1) I need to suit up in the armor God has personalized for me to cross the battlefield of this fallen world.
The armor God describes in Ephesians 6 isn't simply a generic set of equipment to be used whenever I remember it. Every single item is the right size and shape to fit me and I need to have it in place for every moment of combat.
2) I want to be more conscious to rest in God's "righteous and omnipotent hand".
It's really not necessary for me to try to manufacture the where-with-all to make it through each day and be ready for the next and the next. All I need to do is settle into the Truth that I am securely enfolded in My God's grasp.
3) When these preparations are in place I go forth with peace and expectation.
I'm discovering that when I put on my armor and rest in Christ I'm much more able to maintain an attitude that undergirds right responses to the 'interruptions' to my plans. Besides giving me balance and fulfillment, I'm convinced they please God.
I pray for each of you to be drawn into My God's loving embrace.
And all the more if He is Your God too. Amen
'How Firm a Foundation' was written by John Rippon way back in 1787. How cool is that!
I offer you this recording if you want to learn the words with me.