Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Under attack

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to standEphesians 6:11-13 NIV

Without going into specifics out here in public, I feel I’ve been under attack from many sides, in terms of career, home, relationships, finances, and health. A family member has a terminal disease.

I lived my life frugally and as a saver. I contributed liberally to my church and helped others with long-term support and interest-free loans. My credit cards had zero balances, and I held a healthy equity in my house. I did everything “right,” but that was the old financial reality. Everything has changed, and I’m in the same sinking ship as the people who never saved, who spent lavishly on credit and then suffered the consequences. (Except that they’re eligible for government assistance, and I, a taxpayer for 35 years, am not.)

But what hurts most is the attack on love. There’s rejection and apathy from a person who was extremely close to me, who should have loved me unconditionally. Another person who claimed to love me like a daughter—doesn’t. I suspect neither of them knows my deep sorrow at the loss of those relationships.

Just when I’ve become accustomed to living with the pain of the most recent wound, another blow falls on me. How much more am I expected to take?

How does that happen to a person who has obeyed God’s voice, and has committed one’s life—in every respect—to the Lord? I’m still waiting for those blessings promised by the feel-good TV preachers. You know the ones: have faith, claim your promises, speak prayer and blessings over situations, always be positive, follow the commandments and you’ll be blessed, smile and be joyful, etc.

I am blessed to have loving, accepting friends, including my brother and sister-in-law. But I crave being the most important and beloved person in another human’s life. And that has never happened. There’s a line in a play by Christopher Marlowe that describes what I want but can’t have: “He loves me more than all the world.”

Rather than waste time feeling sorry for myself, I hang on (by my shredded fingernails) to promises that God does love me unconditionally and with a passion. Wearing armor against the attack, I put one foot in front of another, and keep going, because the Psalmist says that we walk “through” the valley of the shadow of death. We don’t stay there. We keep walking, until we’re back out in the light and life.

Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:9-10 KJV

I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...
You are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you. Isaiah 43:1-4 NLT 


3 comments:

  1. Comments from Facebook:

    Dan...
    My heart aches for your pain. I have been in those trenches right along side of you except for the "love" one. And, sometimes I think maybe it's better to have never loved than to have loved extremely and then lost that love. But, the passages of life keep coming and going and nothing lasts forever. I have become convinced that endurance and persistence are more important than intelligence and knowledge. Inner beauty is certainly greater than outer, and God knows what we truly desire and need. But pain is not pleasant and growth involves setbacks. You will be an awesome, true, faithful and incredibly toned person that has so much to offer when it's all over. Please hang in there and realize, as I had to, that your worth is greater than the events that have affected you negatively for this period of time. Having just met you personally in April, I found you to be a wonderful, intelligent, passionate and caring person. Everyone gets attacked at one time or another in their most vulnerable area. Join the human race and don't listen to those negative voices that would want you to abandon hope. I have lost enough friends to that syndrome already. You have great value and it doesn't come from what you have or from your friends or associates, it comes from within your heart and soul. Boy, I had to learn that one the WAY VERY HARD WAY! Love you lots. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

    Lynne...
    I, too, have been where you are right now, Christy. I called it the dark night of my soul. My daughter is going through it now. It is the most difficult place to be. But know that you are being prayed for, lifted up before God, and loved. You may very well be just one prayer, one step, one breath away from walking into the light. You are loved ♥

    Doreen...
    Christy, I pray for you every day and hurt for you. I wish there is some way to change where you are, but I am weak and powerless. However, God is all powerful and is so, so much bigger than any of this! I just read in one of my devotions how Moses prayed and then told his people "Don't fear. Stand still. Watch. Keep silent." I know these are very hard things to do, but when we are in the depths and wonder how we can pull out, we know that God "loves us with an everlasting love." And your friends, including me, love you as well! Please, please call if you want to talk/get together/vent. xoxo

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  2. Comments from Facebook:

    Michael...
    Dear sister, I hate to hear these latest additions to your already heavy burden. In my own self consciousness, I fear words of advice might only sound like the counsel of Job's friends, especially on Facebook. But yet, as Dan, Lynne and Doreen have already blessedly exemplified, words are what we have as a first offense that we might pierce the darkness, even a little, that encloses and strangles hope.

    You know I continue in prayer for you daily. Your plight is regularly before me as I pray the Psalms with your voice in mind. On my end I'm left to wonder where my prayers are going. But I will not cease. Especially not now. I especially pray that you will have strength for the day; and that you might find in the church those who can walk with you through this dark time and might be to you, by the power of the Spirit, the embodied Word and living presence of the Lord's love, grace, mercy, care and assurance that you are, in fact, precious in God's life; I continue to pray for the dignity of work; and I particularly give thanks for Brian and Stacey and their gift of presence and support.

    When our whole congregation was going through the most difficult time of our many shared years together we found this song particularly meaningful, hopeful and even essential. It's a fitting rendition of Isaiah 41 which you have already invoked in faithfulness. I will sing this through the day as a prayer on your behalf. --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWpG7qHtB8g&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1

    Bill...
    I can only add that you Christy are a wonderful person and you are truly loved by many and respected for your talents by many. We may not be able to help you in a direct resolution of the issues that have plagued you, but, I know that all of us will be praying, thinking of you.

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  3. Sis,
    You posted some of the most wonderful Scriptures above. Yet I can still hear you in pain. God isn't ignoring you. Remember the 3 Hebrew boys the King threw into the fire that was 7 times hotter than normal? They were respected by the King. Yet they didn't step back a half inch from telling the King, "We won't bow down to your image of gold...DONE DEAL" (paraphrasing of course). What happened? They all 3 went into the fire! Do you think they wanted that? God tells us if we follow Him, we're going to be persecuted! I have learned that everything in life is Spiritual. What is God?...a Spirit. What is Satan? A spirit. These 2 spirits are at war! The fight here on Earth isn't even ours! But we're caught in the middle! Just like kids in a divorce. Yea, there's a nasty 'Lake of Fire Damned Demon' jackin with you. Maybe more than 1! But what does God say? "...Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1John 4:4. Now, apply that to your Ephesians 6 quotation above and that should give you ever so small a clue about how to fight back. Instead of hurting and feeling sorry for yourself, aim that frustration and anger at the doorstep of where it belongs. God calls Satan, "The God of This World". God has allowed Satan to be in charge. That's why He tells us we're going to be persecuted. Satan HATES God! He killed Him on the cross! You don't do that to the hand that gave you everything! As a point of interest, you better believe we ain't nothing special to Satan either. And it's just a matter of SHORT TIME before 'Big Daddy God' whups Punk Satan's ecktoplasmic birdy behind. Satan and his garbage know it, and are steppin up the 'hell on Earth'. But that still doesn't give Satan the right to mess with you! Psalm 91 spells it out. You've heard the Cliche' "Go To War On The Floor"? Sister, I've read your comments. No one has taught you 'Spiritual Warfare'. They didn't when I was SDA either. All you have to do is discover the power God gave you to get through this life, and you'll be amazed at how that power flat KICKS SPIRITUAL HINNY!!! But there's one key criteria you have to do in order to amass that power. You must fall in line with Gods Word. You must! Other wise, you're at the mercy of the God of this World. You're experiencing a small way of how bad it sucks! Fight back!
    I love you. God loves you. Maybe it's time to find out how deep He loves you. It can give you joy in any situation just like the Apostle Paul says.

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