“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
~Matthew 26:52 NIV~
I’ve been going through a very long season of trying to figure out how to avoid dealing with what is happening in the lives of those that I love. This is what I do. When something is beyond my control, I back away from it. I involve myself with anything and everything but the thing that I can’t resolve because I don’t want to be there when it falls apart. And it isn’t because I’ve chosen not to draw my sword. It’s because my sword isn’t sharp enough to kill what needs to be killed. My sword is useless. And I don’t like to feel useless. Especially to those that I want to protect.
Since it isn’t necessarily about me, it seems really stupid to talk about how much it affects me to see those I love go through difficulties. And it seems that over the last year or so, the devil has attacked each person that I love. To varying degrees, he has made things painful and distressing for each of them. And I have had to sit by and watch this happen because I had neither the energy, nor the resources or ability to fix any of their problems. Of course, God never told me to fix their problems. He has always only told me to have faith in His ability and desire to fix their problems. He has always only told me that I need not worry because He has this under control. But like most people, I don’t listen. I think to myself, surely God will let me fix this. Surely He needs me to do something here…because I can handle so much on my own….right?
In spite of what some people may think about me, I do not believe that I know more than God. I’ve never felt that I know even an inkling of what He knows. This is why I talk to Him constantly. This is why I’m asking Him to help me with everything all of the time. This is why I’m so frustrated when I can’t hear Him; because I need to hear Him so that I can take a step in some direction…any direction.
Several years ago, when my grandfather became very sick I watched my mother pour her time and energy into taking care of him. I could not be that close to the situation because it hurt too much to see what was happening to him. But my mother was right there with him through the whole thing. I stayed on the fringe of things because that was as close as I could get without falling apart. I’ve always wanted to believe that I was a strong person but the truth is that when it comes to losing the people I love I am probably weaker than most.
So much of who I am is wrapped up in the people I love. I am the person I am because of the grandfather who taught me how to tie my shoes, and the aunt who took me to church with her, the uncle who always told great stories, the friends who made me laugh, the men who told me they loved me, and the aunt who showed me it was okay to be silly. I cannot imagine how I’m going to deal with losing others like the mother who showed me how to fight for my daughter and myself, the sister who has shown me how to handle any kind of adversity that presents itself, the sister who has shown me how important it is to use your God-given talent, and the father who has shown me how to have a sense of humor in spite of how painful life has been or is. And the daughter who is so much a part of me that I could never imagine living this life without her by my side.
So, yes, when it comes to thinking about life without any of these people, I’m hiding. I’m shutting down. I cannot do this life without them. At least not the way I want my life to be. I want my life to include everyone that I love and I want them all to be okay, all the time. But I know that isn’t how this works. Of course, God could do that. He could make everything better right now and we could all be happy and healthy…but that’s not the point. That wouldn’t really show us how much He loves us. We need to lean on Him. We need to show Him that we have faith in His plan. We need to let Him give us things and even though it hurts, we need to let Him take things from us. But He knows what He is doing and He gives us everything we need to both receive and release.
I don’t want to live this life without the people I love, but there will be a time when I have to do just that. I have no control over it. I can only pray for guidance and strength as these people deal with the things they need to deal with. I can pray for supernatural intervention and hope that God decides to show off when nothing else seems to work. He has done it before and I know that He will do it again. But if He chooses not to show off in every situation, I have to pray for understanding, peace and wisdom so that I can continue to move forward whether to receive or to release what He has given me. I don’t want to, but this is what I have to do if I trust my God. And even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, I do trust Him with all my heart.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
–~Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)~