07 October 2009

Preface to Eternity

This is what the LORD says— he who created you, he who formed you: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, Do not be afraid, for I am with you." Isaiah 43:1-7

I used to be terribly fearful. Then, some of the things that I was afraid of came to pass in my life. I left my husband and everyone found out about the state of our marriage. Our house foreclosed. My husband was on a downward spiral. My kids were stressed. But we made it through. I became closer to the Lord than ever. I lived on $100 a week. None of the things that had kept me up nights ever ended my life like I thought it would. None of the terrible things endangered my or my children’s lives. I became much more broken-hearted to the pain in the world through that time. I saw how sin and selfishness breaks up families and breaks God’s heart. What house is worth more than knowing God more intimately or trusting him more securely? We need to stop stressing that the water may rise or the flames may come. In this broken, sinful world, these things will happen, and we need to pray that God will remind of us his presence during those times. We are told he is with us, but in our fear and unbelief we need to ask him to give us extra reassurance that he is by our side.

“Fear not! for I am with you; do not be dismayed! for I am the Lord, your God. I will strengthen you- yes! I will help you- I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:10 & 13

God is our helper and our comforter. He longs for us to turn to him for assistance instead of trying to rework the budget again. He knows our every need- and not just our need for food and shelter. He knows and built into us a need for love, comforting, and security. Do you think a loving God would build such needs into us with no reason? He wants us to have these needs met through him. He is a God of relationships, and he wants you to know him as well as he knows you. Many times he fills our needs through other people. It is important to have friends and family supporting you now. However, there is no love as great as the unconditional love from your Abba Father God.

You the Lord, are my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? You, the Lord, are the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Really, who can harm you when you know the real truth of your worth? If you are clinging to God’s truth each day, nothing can tear you from His side… maybe they can distract you for a moment, but when you get back into the word, the lies will be identified for what they are. When we get right down to it, there isn’t so much to fear when God is on our side. The things we worry about- money, the house, our health, our marriage - these things are all temporary things. We must focus our limited energy on the things that last, like salvation and becoming like Christ.

I sought the Lord and he heard me! He delivered me from all my fears!
Psalm 34:4

What do you call it? Worried, anxious, afraid, fearful, 'just' realistic… these words reflect that we don’t hear God’s encouragement to trust him and to not live in fear of a temporary situation. Even if you lived alone and in poverty for the rest of your life-- what is it? Fifty years? This life is just the PREFACE to eternity!


Angie said...

I know you wrote this months ago, but it so seems it was meant just for me today.