The season in which I've lived for the last 12 months has been one of pain, prayer, persistence, pandemic, and loss. Yes, there's been a global pandemic (I'm so tired of hearing those words), but there's also been, for me, moving my oldest son (who has autism) into his own apartment in May -- leaving just my youngest, Laura, at home, out of four children.
The last 12 months also saw my mother's increasing weakness and illness and not being able to get her physically into see the doctor for tests because of, you know, the pandemic and lockdowns. Finally, in a hospital emergency department on September 14, we received the devastating news: lung cancer that had spread to her liver. She was released from the hospital and into my care and my home, and over the next two weeks, with my brother at our side and a few of her grandchildren, she went downhill rapidly. The oncologist gave her a week to live, and she almost made that, dying in six days. She went home to be with Jesus on October 1, 2020, at 1:50 a.m. She died in mine and my brother's arms.
I am so weary -- weary of death and all that entails, for death is not the end for the living -- we had to empty her apartment and I'm still dealing with creditors (she was a fan of mail order purchases...) and knowing my mom is no longer answering her phone. Oh how I wish I could call her, hear her voice!
Throw my own ill health into all this -- such as emergency gallbladder surgery the day after Christmas! -- into this, and it really has been a year.
I am weary of all things political and nastiness and unjustice and cheating. I am weary of the uncertain non-normal normal in which we are living.
I pray and read the Word and still am weary, to be honest. Adding to that weariness are well-meaning Christians who say, "Just give it to God! Let go and let God! If you give it to God and still are worried about it, you didn't leave it with Him!"
More than anything, I am weary of bumper-sticker, meme-Christianity. Faith that hasn't seen death. Faith that is so shallow as to be scared to question God. By that I mean, I want a faith so sure of Jesus' love of me that He is not moved or intimidated by me asking Him, "Why?"
God Himself grows tired of His children, bought by His blood, who just goes through the motions with their faith. In Isaiah 1:12-15, we read: “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood."
Battle-weary Christian moms, are you yearning for a deeper faith? Do you plead with God only to not have your prayers answered in the way you ask for them to be answered? Conservative Christians all over the United States, myself included, prayed and begged God regarding politics, yet, the ones we did not want to see in power are now in power. Executive orders have been signed that increases abortion, eradicates jobs, and spits in the face of Jehovah God. Why, God, why?
Perhaps, just perhaps -- God is working, but not the way we would have Him. The Israelites yearned and begged for a king that would dismantle their chains from Roman occupation. God sent His Son, Jesus, Who people thought was the Messiah to free them from political bondage, when in fact, God had other plans. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life," [John 3:16]. He sent His Son Jesus not to throw off Roman rule, but to eradicate the sting of death and the shackles of sin.
God has a bigger purpose than who is in the White House. Maybe, just maybe, God is working to bring calamity to His Church -- so His Church will grow in Him and spread the Gospel. Throughout history, the Church has grown in Christ and in number during times of persecution. Look at the Christian church in China -- persecuted intensely, beaten, imprisoned, killed, have had their buildings destroyed, but the Holy Spirit is unleashed there and the Church is growing exponentially. What if God, through the current political administration, is planning on widespread revival -- revival of which Christian leaders and churches have prayed for years?
So what do we do? We polish our Armor and get to work. As Peter wrote, "But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander," [1 Peter 3:14-16, emphasis added].
Perhaps the battle is the point. I have prayed more over the last year than any other year. God, in His desire for us to be more Christlike, will use anything He wants to get us closer to Him. If we are being persecuted or silenced on social media, rejoice! God will use our responses to that to draw us closer to Him and share the Gospel!
Chin up, Christian, for this is not your home! Yet you, if you remain faithful to Christ, will reap peace, a deeper relationship with Jesus, and crowns representing souls saved to throw at His feet. We must have hope in the knowledge that God is in complete control, and nothing takes Him by surprise. Isaiah 40:28 states, "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom." Rest in the knowledge that you can sleep, worry-free, because God has the night-shift. And all other shifts.
Do not worry about the political climate, too, because God sees. Galatians 6:7-8 offers this encouragement -- and warning: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
Battle-weary Christian, eat well. Sleep. Read your Bible and pray. Make friends with like-minded Christians so you can encourage one another. But don't give up, and don't stop praying or reading the Word. That's the battle plan.
(C) 2021 Terrie Bentley McKee ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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