It’s as if He has literally dropped me on the front lines. Kicked me out of the tanker and driven away. My heart pounding out of my chest as I try to lift my head from the broken ground to survey where exactly I am – really I just want to see how to escape. Where is the closest way out of here, which way is the fastest, and can I get there undetected?
I am no front line warrior, that is the place for the brave at heart and mine is wholly fear-stricken. I mine as well be lame, because fear can make you that way. Heavy, lamenting, and always looking for the escape. Is there an easy way here – to get out of the mess of this world without all the pain?
I mean, I love God, my life is His, but PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME PROVE IT. I might cave, flinch and run because like Paul I am a fear driven denier of the one I truly love. It just costs too much, at least that is how it can feel.
This seems to be a recurring theme in my life. Believe it or not this blog is a front line experience for me. These fingers type and my heart pours and I am trying to be obedient here. To pen what He is writing on my heart because He is leading me this way, but even now as I type, I can feel the fear. This was not my plan, cute crafts and yummy recipes was more like it, but He just keeps speaking and pushing me forward toward that line. Asking me to bear it and put it out there. I HAVE NO IDEA IF PEOPLE EVEN READ THIS STUFF, and then there is the looming question, “what if they do?” I am out here now – who I am and where I stand – EXPOSED – and it can feel uncomfortable.
I wonder as the disciples trekked in and out of towns, were they scared? Not that I equate myself with them, I am far from it. But my little place here, doing what He has called me to do begs me to wonder, did they feel safe or exposed? Standing with Him – the one healing, and raising the dead and drawing lines in the sand. Did they feel the weight of being on the front lines? Did they feel like they could handle the pressure, like they were made for such a time as this, or was the armour too heavy for them too?
When we began the adoption of our third child I knew God was giving us a gift. A quick adoption, a less expensive one, one without travel, a new-born… I had a list of the gifts I thought it would be. That list did not include front line training. Nor did it entail the plans of the battle that would enfold before us. Had my eyes fallen on the actual gift list, the one of perseverance, struggle, heartache, patience, sacrifice, overcoming fear, trembling through dark nights, being branded a warrior… I would have folded. I would have right said I CAN’T and then walked away.
But in His mercy He gave us the box wrapped up in a sweet desperate little boy that we could not refuse. He hid that list because He knew it would be too much. It can still feel like too much some days. I wonder and wonder when it will all be over. My mind flashes with pictures of an empty room and trains left behind and I literally can’t breath. In those moments I plead for mercy.
Most times it’s the battle that makes us a warrior- branding it on your heart deep and burnt it. You wouldn’t have chosen this road, but as the bombs burst and the smoke rises you find your feet toe to toe with the line. The God inside, that Triumphant Warrior that lives deep within you can’t help but find His way out. And you know, from the core that He is the reason you are still alive and He is the reason you are still breathing. You are the reluctant warrior, desperate for His help and at the same time so angry at Him for dropping you here.
The one you need to survive is the same one you need to be willing to die for…
The martyrs that have gone before, they haunt me. Knowing that they had the courage to do the ultimate, to give it all away. I just want to take His stripes for my healing a call it a day – but they gave Him their lives. And that leaves me terrified.
Because it reveals in me a heart that is entrenched in this world. Tied down to all that I stand to lose. I am wed to things other than Him. My heart in love with this world and what I can see and feel and hug: my kids that I want to hold tight and a husband I never want to leave. All of it too good to ever let go.
Honestly, I don’t know what to do with that. But to get up each day and commit it ALL to Him. Literally – the laundry and the loving and the unknown and the battles that rage- just SURRENDER. EACH MOMENT THAT MY THOUGHTS ARE FLOODED WITH FEAR AND MY HEART BECOMES OVERWHELMED, I offer it up to the one who holds it all anyway.
This reluctant warrior stands with toes on the line and lifts my hands because I know if I lift my feet – I will fall. Hands up, eyes on Him – waiting: this is how I do battle most days. Because the armor is too heavy and the temptation to run is too great. if I can just stand and wait for His help – I think I might make it through…
I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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, stand.