They start small until they climb on your back and squeeze the air of faith right out of you.
They have a way of making the stack of bills reign higher than the power of God.
The medical issues stand taller than God's capacity to care.
The relational problems break you into tears rather than into submission to the One who knows.
They are called mounting issues. Personal. Medical. Relational. Financial. Mental.
They take you on a ride like this:
1. You start with faith, looking straight ahead at God.
2. You talk with people, think of the issue and dwell on the problem and get afraid.
3. Your eyes start to look left, and right and left and right.
4. Your worst nightmare starts to take form.
5. You become sure of it's overwhelming power to take you down.
Then they make you feel like this:
I'm going down.
It will never work out.
God, where are you?
They will always hate me.
I will never recover.
I will never be left the same.
I can't do it.
I am horrible.
Problems of today have a way, of making us fear the feelings of yesterday.
I remember the fortress of my school.
The incapability of one girl who was powerless to change anything.
Who was uncertain about the next pain that may come my way.
Who felt the result of people's issues rather than a product of their love.
I remember the embarrassment.
That past mocks all my dreams.
It reminds me that pain will repeat.
It reminds me I either need to fight or flight.
What does the past claim true about you - today?
The reality is - it's gone,
and fighting proves worthless
because you can't fight something that isn't real;
if it's not truth it simply doesn't exist.
But, hushing away feelings never works. The only way to go is to see the one who sees far more than the stalker of fear living in your mind. To see the one who waits, looking, hoping, believing that you will see him - the one who is always following you.
And, while you may think it is over, he doesn't.
He knows it has only just begun.
Because he is ready to come close, to know, to stay with. He is ready and willing to aid and assist.
He is amazing that way.
He sees the inadequate, unable, and unsure one and says, "You can do it with me, because of me and for me. Stay right there with that truth. You will be okay."
He spoke these same kind of words to Joshua -the second string, the rookie.
He spoke belief into a man who had monumental issues in front of him: uncertainty, a sea that stood in his way and a towering fortress shining his incapabilities.
He said, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Josh 1:5
What if God was to show up and to say that to you?
"Hey (fill in name here),
I was with Moses,
so I will be with you (name),
I will never leave you or forsake you."
Might these words make a difference?
Might you remember the bush, the manna, the Red Sea, the God, the hope,
the promises, God's faithfulness to you?
Not if you just heard them, but if you really believed them.
Perhaps, then, you, like Joshua, might think,
"Wow, this God is really for me."
Perhaps then you would have the courage to open your sea of despair to allow a new heart of courage to carry you to your promised hope.
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Josh. 3:5
Perhaps then, you might set your forehead-to-floor knowing one stands higher than all your perceptions.
Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Josh. 5:14
You might even hear the way to go, the heart to have and the whispers of truth
rise above the status of your bank account, your health check-up or your kid's report card.
You might even have the heart to march around what stands against you to shout the truth of God over it, around it and before it to see God work through it. And to, even, maybe, see it all fall down (if that is what God has planned for you).
On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Josh 6:4-5
Imagine seeing the walls of pain and piles of grief standing before you crumble. They aren't bigger than your God.
The truth is that in all cases he may not make them completely disappear, but God has the power to crumble circumstances authority over your feelings. He has the authority to set you on a new path, to forge a new way to bring you into the promised land of his peace.
Hear the words the Lord said to Joshua as he was preparing to be courageous and do not let them lightly pass over you (seize them as he seized the city): "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Josh 1:9)
Mounting issues, the past and our feelings are not our inheritance, God's promises are - and we have already made it to the Promised Land, let's lay claim to it much like the Israelites.
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