Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I ran across the most wonderful verse and promise about a week ago. Just reading it and marinating in it has been sweet to me: "'no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,' declares the Lord."(Isaiah 54:17)In fact, this entire chapter makes me smile. The prophet Isaiah is delivering a message to the people directly from God, and God really has some good news for them! These people had been struggling and striving in their relationship with the Lord for generations. Finally, after all this turmoil, God is ready for some peace and says, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed."
I've had struggles with people and that's no fun, but I've had struggles with God and that is REALLY no fun. It brings me great comfort to just receive the promise that He's not mad at me and, in fact, has signed a peace treaty for eternity! Regardless of what I do, where I go, what I say or feel, the peace treaty remains intact. This is the first promise of this text, but it doesn't stop there. God tells the people that, because of the peace covenant, he will not abandon them AND if they are attacked by any enemies it will not be His doing. He doesn't promise they won't be attacked, He just says the attack won't come from Him.
I believe God knew that many people would not exactly feel comfort from this particular promise. I mean, why not just keep me from being attacked by anybody, right? Can't you do that, God? He was prepared to answer me and the many people who think like me. God answers this with "See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coal into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc." God creates the people, but He really has little control over them at that point. They're free to go do their own creating, whether for good or evil, it's their own choice.
Here's the really good part! Let the blacksmith forge his weapons and plan to use them on me. Go build your weapons, forge an entire arsenal of weapons to use on me! Guess what, they are ineffective against me. You can plan any attack you want, but the attacks of others do not prevail against me. HA HA! Furthermore, make your accusations against me. They get refuted, each and every one of them everytime. It's my heritage as a servant of the Lord. What a wonderful and comforting promise, and I am finding it to be true. As false accusations are made and attacks launched, I rest in the comfort that I have a peace treaty with God and He is my ally in all battles lifting up a supernatural shield that thwarts all intended harm.
It is very easy and natural for me to "get my back up" when people try to suggest something about me that isn't true. I struggle with having a little bit of an "attitude" and a quick temper. Before I've even had time to think about a situation, a sassy comment has already escaped my lips. Because of this tendancy to run my mouth, I've also had to become very adept at apologies. For a hothead like me, I am quieted by the promise from God that the ultimate peace, peace between me and Him, is already established, and any attacks or accusations from people will not prevail. So, chill. :-)
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Friday, April 1, 2011
In the middle of this tight contraction of time
where I am squeezed between hard and impossible, here
I take a deep breath lying on the stone that
some wish were my coffin and
deep solemn redeeming breaths that
I live despite you
despite evil black as the underworld encapsulated
in a palm, I breathe
despite generations of heavy earth lying over me
I consider it brilliant
the changes it draws from me in crushing blows.
I breathe despite loneliness
despite drudgery and commotion
I am alive
here amidst the pounding pummels
lifting my chin and
sometimes I wish you knew about
my own black storms
the howling, the deep of the cut
the vastness of the hole
the fine sweet slice of soul
left lying open
I get it
it’s not for you to know
I’ve learned to celebrate the solitude
since I’m coming out of it now
one fine day at a time
Look at me now.
By Melissa Greene
photo above found at: