This God-encounter happened to me. Last night, after dinner. Outside of the context Religious Liberty… but strikingly relevant, all the same.
We prepared a delicious, home-cooked dinner together. Exhaustion soon caught up with my Honey. As I cleared the table and washed the dishes, he drifted into Slumbersville… right in his chair at the dinner table.
That’s when the Heart Prompting came — for me to go put fresh linens on our bed, so after his nap he could slide into bed with ease.
I was halfway done when I came around the bed… and my feet got tangled up in the overhanging sheet. I fell with a CRASH. Landing on my ribcage, followed closely by my head. With nothing to break my fall.
Was it my own clumsiness? Moving too fast? Not fully aware of or attentive to my surroundings? [How many other times have I resembled that remark?]
Was it an attack from the enemy of my soul? The thief You warn us about, Lord, in John 10:10… who is always seeking to take us off the field and put us back on the sidelines? [Or maybe even kill us outright?]
Either way, Lord, You were there. Keeping me from greater harm. Protecting me. Encouraging me, even in the midst of the excruciating pain… when I couldn’t yet tell what, if anything, had broken.
There I was, flat on my back. Looking up. And You spoke this word of Hope and Encouragement. For any and all of Your people who experience suffering in Life. Even those who suffer because they boldly bear witness — in words and deeds — to You, Lord.
Jesus, the Name is above every name.
So here’s today’s word about Kingdom PERSECUTION. Sometimes, life punches us in the gut. Taking our breath away. Flattening us, leaving us splayed out on the floor. Yet even there, we can (and must) always LOOK UP.
To You, Lord. The Giver of Life. Our Hope. Our Healer. Who is always Good. Good to us and for us. Who can and will bring good to us out of every circumstance we encounter. You can be trusted in this, Lord… because You are Trust Worthy.
Maybe this is why You coach us to embrace a training regimen far more profound and powerful than we may suspect.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Which of these comes first, Lord… to produce the other?
No matter. As we practice them both, broken but not crushed, we grow in strength. As our breath returns and the pain subsides, we become wiser… bolder… more ready (and eager) to follow You into the next Adventure.
Whatever gut-punches it may bring.
What do you think?
Please post your comments below.
Diana Furr., a.k.a. Abba’s Girl
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