1John 2:13-14 (the message)
And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers — such vitality and strength! God’s word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.
Yesterday, I spoke with someone I dearly love and treasure. I learned this family has suffered a terrible blow…the kind that shuts down and drowns out the noise of our everyday complaining and whining about what isn’t fair or easy about life. I felt inept and at a loss for words and so we prayed together. I refuse to pretend there are any formulas or easy answers to the whys. I don’t know why.
I find myself weeping on and off for this family…for my friend. I went to bed thinking about and praying for them and I woke up doing the same. Just now as I sat on my deck in the coolness of morning, I looked up into the blue sky….clouds slowly rolling by…and whispered from my heart what I do know to be true. God is bigger. Bigger than the kind of evil that blows us apart and leaves us smoldering in pieces. Jesus picks us up….our pain and questions and desperation never too hot for His hands…and I believe He soothes us. I believe Jesus comforts and I can just see the Him blowing His sweet presence onto the burning pieces of these broken lives. See, death was snuffed out by the very Breath of Life over 2,000 years ago and it is the life well-aquainted with the whispers of Jesus that overcomes.
I am so worn out with the onslaught of words and pretending that goes on among believers. I don’t write that with a resentment or bitterness. I just write from my heart. I am so tired of what we say we believe not matching how we live or measuring up when we need it. We live our lives and wear our Christianity like an accessory when it matches how we feel that day. And then when real loss and suffering crashes in we wonder where we last put it. We have to find our faith and put it on and try to wrap up inside of it like a blanket.
Here is what I believe about my precious sister in Christ and friend. This is what I know about you…
You know the Father from personal experience. Your life has glowed with vitality and strength that comes with really, really knowing Jesus. God’s Word is steady in you. And, my dear friend, it is your fellowship with God, your intimate walk with Jesus, that enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.
I love you. And I know that even in the pain it will be the presence, breath and whispers of Jesus so readily heard and felt in your life that mend your family now. See, you have known Him. You have not worn your faith like a badge or label. You need not grasp and claw to find Him now…because you are already filled with His Spirit. I don’t know why…but I know how…you need not search and scramble for a faith and intimacy with Jesus real enough to carry and comfort you because you already have it. You just determine not to move…to let Jesus pick you up…your family…and let Him breathe on you. Let His breath, in its death-crushing sweetness, cool the heat of your suffering.
Surely the evil one has blasted a fiery dart your way. But God says there is no weapon that can prosper against you. The righteous fall seven times but get back up. He holds you firmly in His hand. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. He keeps your tears in a bottle. He is well-aquinted with our sufferngs. He was bruised for our iniquities and by His stripes we are healed. He is the beginning and the end. If He is for us, who can be against us? Greater is He on the inside than he who is on the outside. He has loved us with an everlasting love. He will never leave nor forsake us. He is mighty to save…mighty to save…mighty to save. His Word goes out from our mouths and does not return void…And truly, our God has the final Word. Thankfully, you truly have His Word alive and well in your life today.