2 Cor 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Now what’s this – casts on both your arms? Didn’t you get all recovered from that accident last July?
Umm – yes, that’s right. This is something different. It was a bike accident on the way to the office one morning in early April when a car turned left right in front of me. The bones of both forearms were somewhat fractured, but with no displacement of the bones. And most significantly, no damage at all to the fingers – so I was able to fairly quickly get back into my work at the computer. The Lord is so good. Thank Him with me for His hand of protection, setting clear limits on how much damage the enemy was allowed to do, just as He did last summer with that other crazy, unexpected accident.
This morning I was feeling a strong need to connect with the Lord and get a refreshed picture of His plans for me today – so went out for a walk on the path through the woods behind the office. Just as I was approaching the trail my foot slipped on the wet grass, and I almost fell on my face, with my arms not exactly available to break my fall. But the Lord didn’t let me fall. Somehow my feet ended up under me where they needed to be, just in time to catch me. I don’t always recognize the Lord’s hand of protection… but this time it was clear. And with that, the Lord proceeded to give me His “plan for today”, beginning with Isaiah 40:31 –
Isaiah 40:25-26, 28-31
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Trust in Him;
Rest in Him;
Take refuge in Him,
Letting the Lord of heaven and earth,
Our creator and sustainer,
Be our refuge and strength.
And acknowledge the things He does on our behalf.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
We do have an enemy – and because we belong to God, we’re subject to attack from the spiritual realm. I suspect this is more true now than ever before. Not just for me, but our whole nation, as we face much turbulence, and significant issues that threaten our freedom to continue to acknowledge and honor our Creator in all that we do. But in Ephesians the apostle Paul tells us what to do –
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, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
So let’s do this. Let’s stand strong in Him, in His armor and His strength.
I have one prayer request this time. Yesterday I learned that Anne Graham Lotz is once again directing a prayer initiative, calling us to pray together for our nation, beginning very soon, on May 15-23, up until Pentecost. To join me in this, go to http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/2015/04/30/is-gods-judgment-coming/#, read through the details, and click where it says “Sign up today”. Once you’re signed up, you’ll get an email on each of the 9 days with some things Anne has written down to help guide our thoughts as we pray. I was involved in a previous prayer initiative from Anne last July and was quite favorably impressed with what she writes in her prayer guides. So if you’re not sure… let me encourage you to go for it.
Allan & Betty