The Christian life is filled with its share of heart-ache. It should be so. God chose to take up a dwelling place in us when he gave us his Spirit and because of that, we experience the world differently than we once did. That which once pleased us now grieves us. He even told us that in this life we’d find plenty of trouble, though knowing that we are going to experience suffering or pain or trouble is little comfort. Especially when the pressure is on.
Believers are often pressured to paint a smile on a grieving heart. There is a price for being plain spoken about high cost of discipleship. Though it is becoming more mainstream to be candid about our experiences, we too often are expected to tell touching stories where everything turns out like the ending of a Hallmark Christmas movie.
I remember a scene from Spectre (a recent James Bond movie) that may speak more to my experience. Mr. White (one of the bad guys) taunts Bond, “You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond.” He wanted to steal Bond’s hope of finishing his mission, convincing him to stop then and there. What a compelling description of how Satan frames our situation and attacks. Like Mr. White, he intensely wants us to succumb to fear of the tumult of the hurricane.
Seeking some answer to this taunt, I ask: “Lord, why aren’t we just blown away in the gale?” or “Why are we not consumed by the enemy?”
His answer reflects his compassion. I realize that when I cannot see I must trust. When I cannot hear I must open the pages of the Scripture to see what I cannot hear.
Here is, in part, his response to my asking:
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” —Lamentations 3:22.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’”—Psalm 91:1
“We have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf . . .” —Hebrews 6:19-20
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-2
The language in these verses is violent, noisy, threatening. It shows us our need for protection and deliverance. But it also depicts the compassionate love of God and Father, Warrior and King, Refuge and Fortress.
Take His words to heart, warrior. “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea . . .”