Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners in iron chains
because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High
That sounds serious, doesn’t it? Certainly no Christian would rebel against God’s commands or despise the plans of the most high. Come on, after all that God has done for us, would we go against His will? Probably only out of ignorance, right? We wouldn’t willfully rebel….
I have lost track of how many times I have used this blog as a confessional. I think what started as a chronicle of my journey after teaching in St. Louis has become an expose’ of my internal life. I wasn’t planning on that.
But, as I have mentioned, I am a little obsessed with telling the truth…whether or not you, or I, want to hear it.
So, you know that book on prayer that I picked up at the library? Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer? Yeah, well, I think it was written with me in mind. It was copyrighted in 2013, before I knew that I would be moving to Michigan, before I knew I would be leaving my job, before I knew that I would be given this grace period. Yet, it seems that each day the message is specifically for me, designed to call me back from whatever it was that I thought I was accomplishing in my soldiering years.
I knew better. I knew that what I really needed was daily time in God’s Word, daily prayer, regular support from friends, but I chose, over and over again, to ignore those facts and keep soldiering on by my own strength. And I found out I am pretty strong, but not strong enough.
Nobody is, really. We were designed by a Creator who wants to continue to help us, who wants relationship with us, who doesn’t want us to go it alone. He’ll let us give it a try, yet He won’t leave our side while we are trying. Even more, miraculously, graciously, He will be ready to talk even before we are ready. He will be placing things in the path that direct us back to Him. But, you know, sometimes we want to sit in the darkness, in chains, because we’re being willful. And stubborn.
And, even then, He pursues us. Psalm 107 says that He sometimes “subjects [us] to bitter labor”, or maybe lets us get utterly exhausted in all our striving and soldiering. We “stumble, and there [is] no one to help.” So, finally, (sheesh), we “cry to the Lord in [our] trouble, and he [saves us] from our distress.”
Yup. That was my Bible study today. The only thing is, I didn’t quite get to the point that I was crying out in my distress…He met me before that. He swooped in and took me out of my soldiering. He gave me some time to be still, so that I would know, more than ever, that He is God. Let Him be exalted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love,
and His wonderful deeds for mankind.