Trudging Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
† C-R-I-S-I-S †
This Battle Belongs To The Lord!
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
When fears of reality set in. You can either face everything and run or face everything and rise! I’m running…
Or wanting to!!!
What was once lurking in the shadows to kill, steal and destroy is now looking you square in the eyes! You look to the left, to the right, even behind you, but this enemy has one thing on his mind: Destruction, and you’re already suffocating!
It has been said that:
Crisis leads us to seek God and to experience Him!
That all-consuming feeling of dread with no solution in sight. You’re panicked. The chest tightens. The heart’s erratic pounding attempts to blow out your eardrums until the hyperventilation cuts off all oxygen to the brain ushering in tingling that rages throughout your body and renders you paralyzed; all stemming from the test delivered by the multitude.
That’s fear delivering a full-blown panic attack initiated by facing the reality of these crises which surround me. Their relentless push against my faith leaves me utterly deflated.
Crises come in various forms. The intense difficultly and important decision-making requirements from this vast army can be health-related, relational (good ‘ole family funk), financial, vocational, legal, or even spiritual.
My panic attack included all the above. And after the bad hair date with my dreamy surgeon, where’s a girl to go to get massive reconstruction these days?
Where’s the faith, hope and love that is at the heart of this girl’s life when battling the enemy whose affliction and agitated fear has plunged me into quicksand?
God Fights Against Our Vast Armies
I know God has delivered me from the shackles of fear, Perfect Love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), but I am truly trembling. I understand that difficulties strengthen our character and deepen our trust in the Lord as we lean and press in. I also know they equip us with greater confidence that helps us grow, but this girl is nearly six feet tall already, so…
Overwhelmed By Circumstances
No matter how loud or hard you scream for help (I have a big mouth!), I never thought that the quicksand could take me under. The swampland has never succeeded before, but it nearly did this time, and I experienced and felt things deep inside that I don’t remember ever feeling.
Just because I’m seasoned in my faith walk and madly in love with my Lord does not mean I do not get overwhelmed by circumstances like new Christians. Especially when it hits all at the same time. I sink quicker!
When there’s absolutely nothing we can humanly do, problems everywhere, hurricanes and earthquakes to name just a few, one thing after another, along with being surrounded by those against us, that’s when we have to look up and see God standing there reaching out saying, “Treasured daughter, look to me. Grab my hand. Keep breathing. I am right here. You are not alone. Nor are you left to battle this crisis alone.”
What happened to your faith? Why did you take your eyes off of me and focus on this raging storm surrounding you? Nothing has changed except your focus.
I had never felt the weight of this kind of crushing crisis. And I’ve lived through my fair share. That’s when the Lord guided me to 2 Chronicles 20. He reminded me of His Truths with absolutely no sugared-coated serendipities!
Testing sucks… Especially in the form of crisis. You know, this feeling of dread and hopelessness that I felt was overwhelming. Between the panic that overwhelmed my body and the lack of oxygen going into my brain, it made my body quiver and shake. It clouded over any natural fight-or-flight response.
I started to react with old behaviors where I would deny it and run like a mad dog or even reach for a bottle of Jesus Juice (wine) to numb the feelings that were raging throughout my body, but this time I am facing these crises head-on and I hate every second of it.
During our crisis, we need to see and experience our God. When the enemy invades and we feel completely hopeless, we are inviting, even leading, God to intervene on our behalf and speak into the situation. That means adjusting to God’s lead, not the other way around, darn it! That includes feeling the pain, experiencing it and letting it go.
Face the Facts with Faith
As Rick Warren said, “Face the facts with faith. Faith is not denying reality, faith is facing the facts without being discouraged by them.”
God is greater than our problems, but being phony and denying how we’re feeling and thinking is a flat-out lie. Worst-case witnessing, Christians lying, even denying, the truth of their realities. How else can we learn?
Faith is facing the facts without being discouraged by them. This is why I try and remember to faith the fear! This battle belongs to the Lord.
My proclamation: Beloveds who choose to keep their focus on our amazing Lord walk through crises courageously because they know that heaven rules and earth will never have the last word!
Until next time…