Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflections on battle

"Tenacity is more than hanging on,
which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off.
Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe
that his hero is going to be conquered.
Remain spiritually tenacious."

Oswald Chambers

I was reflecting the other day about this last year and the many many challenges we went through, and are still going through. I've never seen a year like this....tons of sickness in our family and on the YWAM base, lots of 'pastoral care' issues that needed hours of conflict management and counseling, and then, of course, the BIG THEFT that blasted our world and kept knocking us with all the aftershocks.

We, as a base, never really had time between blows to get back on our feet and resume fighting stance. It was more like we would begin to push ourselves up, and just when we were straightening our legs and lifting our heads, we'd get another right hook to the jaw that would knock us back into the ropes again. And again. And then again.

So many times this year I've thought, "What the heck is going on?! This is crazy! This is too much!" and the inevitable, "God, what are you thinking?"

I wish I could say I handled it all like Moses who "never wavered through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised." No, I'm afraid I wavered. And ranted. And raved. And indulged in a few pity parties along the way.

Yet somehow my faith has grown and deepened through it all, even though we never found the thief, even though we're still bruised and a little sore emotionally, even though we're still quite tired and wrung out.

I read back over some of my journal entries from earlier this year, in the weeks preceding the theft, and I discovered how God had tried to warn me and prepare me for the coming trials. On the 13th of June, during one of my quiet times, I felt God saying, "Things are changing. Be ready. Be alert. Stay very very close to me. The battle is heating up, and your shield of faith must be high and strong. Your faith will be tested like never before. Remember I am with not be afraid."

Exactly 2 weeks later the thief struck.

The following days and weeks were hard. I was up and down, up and down. One minute praising God and believing with all my heart that He would show His power, raise His mighty right hand and save the day. The next minute asking Jesus, "Where are you? Are you praying for me that my faith will not fail? 'Cuz if so, You need to pray harder. It's hanging by a tenuous little frayed thread and feels like it could snap at any minute."

It was tough.

But here we are, 3 months later, preparing to host a Leadership Development Course, and I'm rereading a journal entry from the 9th of July where I quoted:

"We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized;
we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do;
we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side;
we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken.
So we're not giving up. How could we!
Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us,
on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times,
the lavish celebration prepared for us.
There's far more here than meets the eye.
The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.
But the things we can't see now will last forever."
2 Cor 4 The Message

So...tenacity. Not just hanging in there, according to Mr. Chambers. But refusing to believe that my hero is going to be conquered...refusing to give up hope in the knowledge that Jesus has already won the battle, and He's on my side.

I like what Beth Moore said about William Carey...after listing all the troubles and loss he endured as a missionary in India, Beth said, "William Carey became the devil's nightmare. Every time Satan knocked him down, the man of God stood back to his feet again, more determined than ever."

We've been knocked down so many times this year, it was tempting to crawl over to the corner and nurse our wounds, or even slither under the ropes and get out of the ring. But God's grace each and every day has been enough to keep us fighting the good fight, refusing to give in and give up, because we know that our Saviour WILL one day come riding up on His white horse to save the day.

In the meantime, He fights each and every battle with us. He never leaves us alone.

No matter how hard it gets, Jesus is my hero, and I will never let go of Him.

1 comment:

Heathcote Safari said...

Vikki, this is awesome! This is what it is all about - not about NOT feeling the very real challenge to our faith, but always getting up and standing for what is MORE real, MOST worthwhile.
We love you guys: what an example you are of perseverance, strength under duress, faithfulness in the midst of battle. We are excited to see what all this is preparing you for ... it's gonna be great :-)