The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway
February 25, 2017
“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, RSV).
Disasters, emotional and physical, come in all shapes and sizes, every thing from mere annoyances, to loss of physical property or life as happened when flooding became a life threatening issue due to recent California storms. The rain that many of us had prayed for so long and fervently, finally came, but with it, came disaster for those who lost their homes, or worse, their lives.
King David had his share of horrific disasters, but the Psalms are his beautiful personal journal of how God delivered him and often used him to save Israel, as in the case of the Philistine giant, Goliath, who was menacing Israel and calling out the bravest warriors to fight and die. David felt the call to go, but King Saul looked at him and saw a young shepherd boy, not a mighty warrior with sword and shield. He said, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” David replied, “Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” (I Samuel 17:36-37, RSV).
On our tour of Israel in 2005, the guide took us by bus to the Valley of Elam where the event occurred. It’s just an ordinary looking piece of land today, but in my mind’s eye, I could see Israel cowering in fear on the hill above it and the giant jeering at them from the valley below. I picked up some round smooth stones from the small, now dry brook that meanders through the valley, and brought them home with me, as a reminder that God can achieve large results with small things.
The personal disaster that prompted this writing was the loss of everything last week on my computer: my writings, my music, thousands of photos and graphics, all gone in a flash. I would explain what happened if I knew, but I’m not sure exactly how it happened. I have two external hard drives, neither of which were functioning properly and had called the manufacturer to get the newer one fixed. She determined that it had never been properly initialized and so walked me through the process of doing that, which included erasing all the data on it.
One thing led to another and I clicked on something, and everything disappeared from my computer. Like Job, I felt, “What I greatly feared has come upon me.” Long story made short, an Apple tech support person helped me a little, but God clearly gave me the answer which was to plug in the old External Hard drive, and the tech consultant showed me how to get most of my files off of it. It took a whole day, but I was able to retrieve most of my writings, my photos and my music. I’m still replacing all that was lost by another technique God plopped into my mind. This is on a MUCH smaller scale than someone who loses their house in a tornado or flood, but my first thought was that God had closed down the writing ministry.
Actually, He was there through the whole thing and I knew instantly that He was showing me something about myself. That hasn’t totally come into focus yet, but He proved once more that when He brings disaster upon us, it’s because He wants us to see His power and feel His might when He delivers us from it. Yes, He does it all: “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his going forth is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:1-3, RSV).
The following poem was written in October, 1996, when Lenny and I were circling the drain financially and in the process of losing everything. I feel sure some of you can relate to it. God had a plan and a purpose for the loss then, as He always does. This is why we pray, “Thy will be done,” for His will for our lives is perfect. These cactus patches are not pleasant when we’re in them, and I have yet to be able to “count it all joy” while it’s happening, but I’m a work in progress.
The battle grows hotter. The arrows are flying. All around me I hear, the screams of the dying. Where is the one with scepter and sword? Where is the King? Where is the Lord? My courage is fading, my faith fled away. Is there no one able to save me this day?
I labor for the rest God has promised to me. I long for the day, when He sets me free. I can’t go on, and continue to fight. Take me home now; bring me into the light. Let me lie down in the bosom of God. Cover my body with daisies and sod. And there, I will sleep till the trumpet shall sound, when with all of the saints, I am heaven bound.
Sorry Lord, I can’t be your son. I’m too tired to believe. It’s over. It’s done. Why did you call me? Why did you bother? How can I endure till your judgment is over? My spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak, I barely have strength your face to seek. I pound on your door. I knock and I knock, but I feel like I’m beating my head on a rock. Open Yourself up to me, I implore. I need your help. I can’t take any more!
Grant to me that I should see your vast plan, of investing yourself in a weak, mortal man. To share your glory? Surely, you jest. You’ll give me your life? You’ll grant me rest? Then, open my eyes Lord, that I may see, what you have planned eternally for me. Speak to me Lord. Let me hear you say how you are helping me to survive this long day. Show me your purpose. Take away my fright. Hold me in your bosom, throughout this long night. And when I awake, at the break of day, I’ll rejoice greatly, all my fears fled away.
But still, I don’t think I can be your son. I see too much work here that needs to be done. There’s no one to turn to but you, only you. So, I guess I’ll “hang in there” until you are through. And when you are finished, and I’m gleaming like gold, You’ll say, “Look what I made from that lump of coal.”
Father, “You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” Your faithful Presence in big things and small, blesses, comforts, and saves us. Grant that we may carry Your Presence to all who need help, succor, or love so that all will glorify You now and forever. We join our voices with “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!” Amen. Jan Antonsson
Jan Austin Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
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