Sometimes when I’m not entirely sure how to handle my own thoughts or emotions, or even when I don’t know if my perception of a certain situation is correct, hyperbolicized, or ignorant, I just sit back in complete confusion and ask God where He is in all of it.
I also, especially during this particular week, have to keep it in my head that I’m exhausted, running on very little sleep, I’ve had way too much coffee in the past several days, and the terms “pressure” and “stress” and “I can’t even” are used on a regular basis. And if I’ve learned anything from college, it’s that my physical state greatly affects my spiritual and emotional state.
So maybe I just need a hug.
Thursday night I had a basketball game, during which I was cut several times on my hands and on my face (accidentally) by a girl with exceptionally long nails. Yes, I did get blood on my uniform. Yes, it did remind me of that scene in “Remember the Titans” 🙂 I also am now sporting some rather fabulous blisters on my feet and ankles due to being incredibly intelligent and using this game (of which I would have to play the entire duration) to break in my brand new basketball sneakers. But the game was awesome 🙂 It was tough and intense, and afterwards I was once again thankful for God providing me with a mandatory energy outlet, especially since I’m sitting most of the day, working on homework 😛
Today (Friday) was my last day at the internship. It was rather bittersweet, and part of me began to worry (again) about the future and on the subway I began to freak out before I realized I really needed to just calm the heck down and remember how off-balance my body was, how susceptible I was/am to my emotions right now. So I talked to God about what I was thinking, what I was afraid of, what I didn’t know, and what I knew He knew. I talked to Him about Jacob, about Christmastime, about finals, about the future, about everything.
Let’s be frank. I mean, I’ll still be Hunter, but let’s be frank. So, that mea—never mind.
I’m not going to spill my guts on this screen, because the point of what I’m writing is not for you to get the juicy details about what’s wrong with my brain, for you to stand in awe of my struggle and my “perseverance,” for you to admire how “strong” I am. I am not strong. I’m not even determined. Naturally, I am quite possibly one of the weakest, most often terrified, most anxious, and most deeply skeptical people you will ever meet.
The only reason I can even survive, the only reason I can even communicate with or trust anyone, regardless of if it’s men or women, is because of Christ, because I trust Him and want to obey Him and He has proven to me and continues to prove to me that He is absolutely dependable and trustworthy.
And so now, while I sit here and move forward in my growth in my relationship with Christ, I have to wonder if even in this He’s still trustworthy.
“Well, of course He is, Hunter.”
Right. But when you’re constantly having to check things through Him, and then the most difficult but second most sought after thing in your life suddenly comes about and everything begins to change and it’s an all out war, because you know if God wins this one then Satan really lost, you begin to question everything again.
Can God win this war for me? Can He win the battle I have never even been able to fight?
This is really, really, really hard. I can write a World Civ. essay in a day, complete with resources and perfect citations. I could even write a novel in a day, if I really wanted to. I have no problem running a 5k or playing a full hour and a half basketball game. But when it comes to facing this, this, thing, this one obstacle and fear and difficulty I’ve never ever been able to win, no matter how hard I’ve tried, no matter how much scripture I’ve read, I suddenly don’t know what to do, and though I still have hope in the One who rescued me from the darkest pit of my heart and from the deepest sin and addiction I’ve ever been in, I have to admit the odds are daunting, and the possibility of failure is almost too much to bear.
And I know this seems dramatic, or at least it does to me. And I wish I could say it’s like Paul’s thorn, where it’s “simply” a constant annoyance or struggle to remain in the background, to keep me from becoming full of myself, but it seems so much bigger than that. It’s like there’s a beautiful, pure, unadulterated, untainted treasure inside of a cave, and I’m constantly drawn toward it, but in front of the cave looms the most frightening nightmare of a creature I’ve ever faced: more driven by greed than Gollum…more possessed by demons than Legion….more hideously cruel than Jezebel…more murderous than Hitler. But I keep coming back, because nothing worth having is ever easy to obtain. I mean, look at what God sacrificed, even if it was only for a time, to give me the greatest gift I’ve ever had the privilege of accepting? He gave up His Son, and not just any son, His only Son….for me. But every time I stand in front of that creature, my sword shatters, and I crawl away wounded, the treasure feeling farther and farther away with every battle I lose.
But then the questions come, and the real question in all of this shows itself as not being of my ability to finally win this war, to finally muster up enough courage and persistence to defeat the “creature”….but rather it’s a question of if I’m finally ready to step back and let God fight it for me, to let Him have complete control of this particular area in my life, the one that holds the most fear for me.
Can He win this?
Yeah 🙂 He can.
He gave Gideon the victory with so few men. He destroyed nations and vanquished enemies of Israel. He defeated death and forgave the sins of all of humanity, past, present, and future, throughout the entire expanse of time itself. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and rescued them from Pharaoh’s hand. He reconciled and blessed David after everything. He wrote the greatest book ever written, the only one that gives life. And He saved my soul and preserved me as His daughter and sealed me with the Holy Spirit.
The best part, I think, is that this is only with me and God. No one else can help me with this, so I have no choice but to depend on Him and trust that He knows what He’s doing.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to take time. It’s going to hurt. It’s not always going to feel like it makes sense. But the reason why this battle, right now, is even worth fighting is because I know I’m where God wants me to be. He brought everything about so perfectly and orchestrated things so in sync that I’m still in complete shock.
So, battles. God is a professional battle fighter, and not just a fighter, but a winner as well. He loves me. He’s my Knight in shining armor and He’s my King. He’s my Savior and my Friend. And when knights fight for their princesses, they always fight with valor, and though they are clearly mortal and sometimes fail, falling in honor and dignity, they fight as if they’re invincible. But my Knight is different.
He always fights for those He loves. And He always wins.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” —2 Corinthians 4:8-9, ESV
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” —Psalm 27:5, NKJV
“By this I shall know that I am of the truth and reassure my heart before Him; for whenever my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart, and He knows everything.” —1 John 3:19,20, ESV