Remember

“I’ve been lately thinking about my life’s time. All the things I’ve done and how it’s been…” Poems and Prayers and Promises (John Denver)

I remember as a small child going for hikes in the woods around the farm where we lived. I would get lost but was never afraid. I knew I’d find home.

I remember as a teenager being so angry, so lost, so afraid and so alone. I told God I didn’t believe and would rather serve satan than him.

I remember being trapped in my bed as demons tore at me, unable to scream, unable to move.

I remember the freedom and peace and joy I felt when I gave my heart, my life to Jesus.

I remember telling him over and over that he could do whatever he wanted with me.

I remember yelling at him, rejecting his commands. Medicating the pain he wanted to heal and never again saying he could do what he wanted with me.

I remember being rejected in love over and over. Coming to believe no one could.

I remember meeting her. Seeing her smile. Knowing I was done. Knowing she would never love me and I would never stop loving her.

I remember, despite my inner protests, she said ‘yes’. And then, ‘I do’.

I remember children and fighting and leaving and coming home and more children and fighting and leaving and coming home. And being so, so tired.

And I remember falling on my face and asking God to forgive me and help me with the mess I’d made.

And I remember healing and joy and love.

So much love.

And yes, though I got lost, God brought me home again.

Do Nothing

I’m reading in Joshua, just started.

So if you don’t know the story, you’ve at least probably heard about the battle of Jericho.  The people of Israel marching around the city and finally the walls fall down.

I saw it in a different light this morning.

The story begins with Joshua sending two spies into Jericho who are hidden by a woman named Rahab.  She agrees to help them if they will in turn spare her family.  She says something really interesting.

“I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”

What amazes me is that they had all this fear but they didn’t run away.  They didn’t throw rocks from the city walls.  They didn’t attack in an effort to go down swinging.  They stood there.

Paralysis….

God used it against Jericho.

Satan uses it against us.

Paralysis through depression, through fear, through guilt and shame

Just stay still and maybe all the problems will go away.  Drink and feel better.  Do porn and feel powerful.  Drugs and feel nothing.

Comatose…

Hey, I’ve got an idea.  Are you failing, making mistakes, ruining everything?  Don’t quit!

Are you sad, lonely, afraid, filled with guilt and remorse?  Don’t quit!

No, I won’t fill you with clichés about the answer is just around the corner.  Your dreams will come true if you just push a little further, though I think there is some truth to that.

Moses pushed all the way to the border of the promised land and died.  Others have been martyred, betrayed, forsaken and when all hope was lost, they were shot to pieces.

It doesn’t change the goodness of God.  And it doesn’t change the fact that the worst thing you can do is give up.

Don’t give up!