This morning on the way to work I was listening to Focus on the Family and they had a guest speaker who was in the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center. A wing of the plane actually stuck into his exit door. As he recounted his miraculous escape to freedom, and how God had delivered him by using another man to help him, I couldn't help but think of all the others who may have prayed the same prayer for deliverance from the situation, but met their death instead. We will never know their stories or the peace that filled their hearts as they faced a certain death, the joy of knowing that today would be the day they met their Savior, or the gracious way many gave up their lives for their friend, showing what Christian brotherhood is all about. We also won't know about those who begged to understand why God was not answering their prayer for deliverance, those who did not find peace in that moment, and those who were in fear until the end. I would guess that even Christians fell into both of those categories. So what separated those who fell into the first group from those in the second? Was it their reliance and trust in our Father? Is it fair to say that those who fell into the second group had less faith? Was their faith overshadowed by the burdens of the moment, so much that the Grace of God could not be revealed to them?
This makes me think of my own life. When I am faced with trials, can I hear the Father calling me? Do I rest in the peace of His perfect will, or do I frantically try to find a solution on my own, which leads only to despair. I hate to admit that too often I fall into the latter group, why is that? I have faith, and I believe, but sometimes it is so hard to let go. Sometimes it is hard to understand that our Father has a love for me that surpasses understanding. In this love, he protects me from harm. That doesn't mean He "shelters" me, helping me to avoid any sort of trials in my life. It doesn't mean that the more I trust in Him, the easier life is, and the less troubles I will face. No, that type of understanding only leads to dissapointment, for it puts my fate back into my own hands......if I only tried harder, if I only spent more time in devotions or prayer. No, He is not a shelter to avoid the storm. But "GOD IS OUR REFUGE". In the midst of the storm, He provides a place of peace, a place of rest. Many times, we have to travel through the storm to get to the refuge, and after we are rested and filled, He encourages us to step back out into the storm. My God does not cause me to escape trials. Instead, He holds me through them, teaching me that if I can completely surrender, it is in His arms alone that I will find rest.
"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long. And the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." ~ Deuteronomy 33:12
Beloved, may we rest in the grace and peace of God today. Amen