The cool icy northeasterly winds blow starboard. They rattle the rippeled glass in the galley which has been weathered by surf, salt and sand. They beat against it, taunt it, mock it, as if it were only a matter of time before the fragile glass gives way to it’s destructive power. The hull shakes beneath me and the waves crash over me and I am a boat stranded on a the sandy shores of confusion. On an island, all alone ,I walk through fog and haze and rain, through night and day and a darkness that you can feel. The anchor of fear has placed a heavy load on my heart and my sails weep slow dirty tears.
I make my way to Jesus, to the cross. My only true shelter from the storm. I pray. I wait. God must do what I cannot do for myself: change my heart. As I lay down my fears and the sorrowful tears of my broken yesterdays I am hopeful. I know that God is faithful. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin,” Hebrews 4:5. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.
Now, I have often thought of David in the Bible when it comes to trouble. David was a man after God’s own heart yet he faced danger, heartache, depression and fear. There must have been times when he felt abandoned and confused. After receiving the anointing to be King of Israel he was thrown into the service of Saul who became incredibly jealous. He not only hated David but wanted to kill him. Now, literally on the run to save his life, he ends up living in caves with a bunch of bandits: He is hunted, He has to hide his family, His camp is burned and everything he owns has been captured by the enemy, His men want to stone him. Things seem to go from bad to worse and yet David remains faithful. He cries out to God.
“My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
Psalm 55 4-8.
As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
Psalm 55 16-19
Now I know that one area of my life where I have struggled the most is with negative thinking. I am quite sure David himself struggled with this in his hour of despair. The enemies lies are tempting us to believe that, “things will never change,” “you’ve screwed up too much…why would God help you now”. “You’ll never be good enough,” “Your worthless, useless………….sound familiar? I once heard someone say that your life will change only when you STOP listening to the lies. I think they were on to something. The battle for our souls is in our mind.
I have prayed about this over and over. I believe this is the greatest battle we face in life. I am convinced that I cannot do it alone. You know the saying, “it takes a village?” Well, in essence, I feel this is what the Lord is saying to me; You can’t do it alone – no man is an island : you need ME, You need fellowship and you need to TRUST ME to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
Being in God’s word is the first step. It is about transformation………………because the mind is the battle field.
“Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect,” Romans 12:2.