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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fighting Battles

There are situations in life that are out to get the best of us, that shake our hearts to the core and make us feel like we have lost control. To lose control is one of man’s greatest enemies. We hate it when we are left at the backstage in the play of our lives or on the passenger’s seat instead of behind the driver’s wheel. We feel small when we are unrecognized, when people have empowered our weaknesses and have forgotten our strengths. We feel angry when people can’t seem to read our minds and make us feel that others’ feelings are more important than ours. We get pressured when people start unreasonably demanding things from us and have enumerated the reasons why we are a failure. Such are the things that drive us to cram for resolution, to change the status quo, to save ourselves from becoming smaller and smaller and less and less significant. We crave for stability because we don’t like to drown. When we have been tipped off our comfort boats, we swim hard and wonder why our unsinkable boat sank in the first place. We scream ; we whistle; we swim against the current because we have to survive – better yet, win. We attempt to figure things out and feel disappointed when none of our schemes worked. Yet we try harder. We silence the lambs by doing the extremes: good and bad. We appease our demons by giving money to the poor. We read a self-help book to make us feel learned. We clean the house or finish a project fast to make us feel productive. We scold our kids/nephews/nieces for not making their homework to make us feel responsible. We paint, write, dance, sing all of it off. Perhaps, art has the answer. If not, the pain reliever. We seek affirmation from relationships. If so and so does so and so, we should be fine. Otherwise, our hearts sing the song, “Why does the sun go on shining? Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?”

We run; we paddle; we grope; we struggle. We are restless, helpless, hopeless, tired. Some of us don’t even know it.The truth is, we can never be in control. We may have the paddle in our hands or the driver’s wheel but storms and earthquakes come and dogs cross streets from nowhere. We are oftentimes caught unprepared. But sometimes the best solution is to simply be still.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14) When Jesus died on the cross, he did not only die for OUR sins but for OTHER PEOPLE’S sins and shortcomings against us – so that when we feel hurt/angered by them, we can always look to the cross and lift our burdens to Him. Life will always be messy and at times, we will never figure things out completely.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) 

Our not knowing is a part of God’s sovereign will in accomplishing His purposes in our lives. When we are left helpless and we fight our battles on our own, we are telling God that He is not fighting enough for us. Oftentimes, God only allows rejections, hurts, disappointments so we are left with no choice but to cling to Him. Sometimes, He will break our hearts into pieces – if that’s the only way to make it whole. He will turn our lives upside down for awhile – if that’s what it takes to keep it downside up.