I’ve been reading a book by Lynn Austin about King Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the one who dusted off the Word of God and began to follow it, getting rid of all the idols and evil in his kingdom, being faithful to God.
In this novelized account, Hezekiah’s grandfather reminds him that the Lord does not give him strength — the Lord IS his strength. There is a big difference in that distinction!
Today I came across these words from King David in Psalm 63 and was reminded again of the difference between thinking God will give me strength and knowing that God IS my strength. David knew that God WAS his strength:
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Jesus gave us memorials when he set apart the bread and the wine and told us do eat and drink in remembrance of Him. Is it a coincidence that He used the imagery of filling us up with food and drink to show us Who He Was? I think not. I think every word out of the Lord’s mouth was deliberate and for a purpose.
I share David’s hunger and thirst for more of the Lord, for more of Him to come and fill me up, to even out the rough spaces of my heart, to chisel away the ugliness inside me. I’ve written before about the spiritual desert I have been in for a long time now. As I look back on these last few years of my life, I see a long hallway that gets narrower and narrower as time marches on.
You see, the Kingdom of Anxiety has had a hold of me for as long as I can remember. It rears up and steals my joy. It takes away from my life. I have become such a germaphobe that whenever I hear of an outbreak of a stomach bug, I want to stay in my house. I had to force myself to go to the grocery store when H1N1 was just emerging this time last year. I was one of the crazy ones who bought masks. They are still sitting in my closet, collecting dust.
But today in church, the Lord spoke to me. I didn’t want to listen because I hold on to anxiety much like an abused wife holds on to her abuser because she doesn’t know where else to go. The topic was about dealing with the dead ends in life. The visual was a trapeze. Before an acrobat can swing from one trapeze to the other, he has to let go.
It hit me: I have been a Christian now for thirty years. For three decades I have walked on eggshells, holding tightly to the trapeze dipped in anxiety with one hand and the trapeze dipped in trust in the other.
I trust the Lord. I really do! I see the radical changes that Jesus has made in the lives of so many people. Just today twelve people — at least — drew a line in the sand and made the decision to believe, to trust.
24“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5
I made that decision three decades ago, and I make it again every day. Very rarely do I consciously wake up and remember that the day belongs to God and ask Him to shape it…perhaps because I lack trust. But this trust — this leap from one trapeze to another — is something visual He has given me to show me that he is working in me. One day I will grab hold of the that trapeze and leave the anxiety in the dust because I will realize just how filled the Lord has made me…I will find myself drenched in Living Water that never runs dry.