When I first came back to The Lord - which feels like ages ago (although it was only 7-ish) - my beloved friend, Gindi Vincent, told me that I should expect the enemy to work overtime to discourage me.
He did then and has worked on me ever since - albeit he has laid off during those very self-indulgent times. I generally tend to handle it well when those flaming arrows come, because I know it to be true that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
But this weekend, I am pretty sure I smelled something burning. I think one of those arrows got through. Not for long, but long enough for me to be feeling singed.
Since that early advice, I have long practiced a methodology for picking apart the things that come my way. I very logically hold them up to the backdrop of my life and say "Nah - this isn't so bad."
But my background has changed and with all that has been going on, all the challenges and hurdles to get over, I have been brought to my knees and am really, really struggling to get back up.
I won't bore you with the list of issues, but it is long and distinguished. I feel like I am climbing up a mountain and it hasn't been too bad thus far. But this weekend I really felt like there was a nasty troll a few hundred feet up and he is delighting in pushing rocks off to try and squash me.
(I'd like to think I got that image from something truly academic, like Greek mythology. But more likely it came from watching Dora the Explorer by osmosis.)
Just when I think I can't go on any further (and I really think I'm there), God shows up to remind me I am not actually the one carrying the load. You see, I laid my burdens down to Him a long time ago. I am tied to His yoke and like any ox-in-training, I am learning how to plow the field for harvest from Him.
He has confirmed this twice today, all before 8:15 am. First, we were in the carpool line and KSBJ was on. The DJ made a comment about how you always seems to hear the exact right song, just when you need it. I thought, yes that would be nice right about now. And so it came - Nicole C. Mullens' "When I call on Jesus."
I started bawling and tried to put on my sunglasses so no one would see, but then they got all foggy and I had to take them off.
When Sophia and I got home (hopefully she will go back to school, if her blood counts are up, Wednesday. We will know tomorrow), I sat down to my devotional book. One of the verses?
I went back and read the whole Psalm and BOY do I understand now where David was coming from. The point he was making though, is that I am not unprotected on this journey up this mountain. I, like him, can take shelter under the shadow of The Lord's wings for protection from all these rolling boulders and flaming arrows. He will use His power and might to protect and deliver me. That hope I wrote about Friday stands as a testament to it. It will happen.
It might be a cave like He provided David but in my case, it is to embrace the moment, rather than the big picture.
I might feel like I can't take another step, but I will because The Lord is giving my feet the strength. I feel just like Job, who when given the out to walk away from His Lord, he chose to hold even tighter to Him. Early Church Father Polycarp, while waiting to be burned alive, said, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior?"
I might only have thirty and five years with Him - but He is my sun and my shield. I can't turn away now, there is no one else to turn to.
I'm running for cover, Lord. Here I come.