Learning to love the haters

I don’t pretend to know a lot about love. I’ve only been on a handful of dates in my lifetime. I’ve mostly liked boys who didn’t like me back. I’ve never had a kid or even my own pet. I’m … Continue reading

Something worth singing about.

This might (not) surprise some of you, but sometimes I write blog posts and never publish them. Sharing your thoughts with random strangers — even though it’s on the Internet — can be daunting. Sometimes I feel ashamed of what … Continue reading

It’s not my battle.

“The battle is the Lord’s.”

I know this verse is often quoted out of context or whatever but I think it’s true. I want to believe it’s true. I need to believe it’s true. That’s the only hope there is.

The battle is the Lord’s. My battles are the Lord’s battles.

My insecurities? The Lord’s.

My fears? The Lord’s.

My loneliness? The Lord’s.

My doubts? The Lord’s.

My confusion? The Lord’s.

My dreams? The Lord’s.

My constant failings? The Lord’s.

I wonder what would happen if I acted like this was truth.

When I am wondering why God keeps closing doors, when I am walking through the valleys and the desert wastelands, I whisper these words like a lullaby.

I am reminded of 1 Samuel 17:47:

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

When reason says, “Well, God doesn’t want this verse to apply to YOU,” then God reminds me of Ephesians 6:12:

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

He reminds me of John 16:33

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

There is more in the world than what my short-sightedness allows me to see. I am in a war and it is unseen. Delusional people say stuff like that, right? Well, maybe they’re on to something.

I am on God’s side and He has already defeated the devil. The devil knows his time is coming to an end and he is ANGRY. He’s taking it out on me, on you, and all of us. He hates us. He wants to destroy us. He’s trying to stir up waves while we walk on the water.

But the battle is the Lord’s. I’ve given it to God and that’s all there is to that.

I’m going to keep saying it until it sinks into the dryest parts of myself, until I finally see healing and light break through. I’m going to keep saying it until I don’t even remember being discouraged. I’m going to say it until those closed doors look golden because all my eyes can focus on is Jesus.

“The battle is the Lord’s.” And He has already won.

Faith

The Last Word.

Last words. We’re all going to have them one day. All of us.

And on that depressing thought, I leave you.

Just kidding.

But seriously. 

In movies, they always make a big deal out of last words. It’s usually something awesome or tragic. In Harry Potter, Dumbledore pleads with Snape, “Severus. . . please.” In books, the last sentence is important because it sets the stage as to what the characters will live like after the story ends. In A Farewell to Arms, after the main character’s love interest dies, Hemingway writes, “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.” I hate that ending by the way. Super depressing. I definitely threw the book across the room when I first read it.

We cannot forget one of the all time best last few words in a movie: Casablanca. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Last words.

They are a way of saying . . . “This is what is going to happen after you walk out of this movie theatre or put down this book.”  Sometimes they say, “This is what’s truly important to me.” They can be surprising or hilarious. Sometimes, the character doesn’t even know they are about to die so their last words are something along the lines of “I’m going to the bathroom.” And then they just collapse on the floor melodramatically.

For my last assignment in college, I wrote a story in which one of the characters dies. I spent quite a while struggling with what the character should say in her final moments. It’s important, after all.

The point I’m getting at is sometimes we can think we’re over with. We’re done. We’ve messed up too much and don’t have a book in front of us with our names on it so we can flip through the pages to read the ending. We don’t have a movie showcasing our entire life, so we can’t see the ending. Do we end up happy? Are we poor or rich? Do we follow our dreams? Do we die alone? We don’t know. We can’t.

The other day, I was reading the Bible and came across a passage I didn’t know existed.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NKJV)

It’s hard to imagine a world without sin, without the devil, without destruction. From tornadoes ripping apart elementary schools to friends passing away in car accidents, tragedies are a way of life in our world. We kind of just have to deal with them because we can’t stop them.

But the above verse says that one day the evil one will be destroyed. Destruction itself will be destroyed. And how does God consume the evil one? With the BREATH of his mouth. He doesn’t even have to try. He just BREATHES. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered someone’s breath being so powerful that it literally destroys something . . . except if they have bad breath and it destroys your sense of smell, but that’s a whole other story.

How does the Lord destroy evil, this evil we as human beings have lived with for THOUSANDS OF YEARS? With the BRIGHTNESS of His coming. He doesn’t even bother moving his hand. His presence, His brightness is enough to destroy years of evil.

Basically, God has the last word. And it’s a good one. It’s hopeful and full of joy and goodness.

Even if you feel like your life is over with, even if life doesn’t go perfectly, if you do not lose faith in God, He will have the last word in your ultimate ending, and it’ll be a happy ending, the kind of ending that would make fictional characters jealous.

Riding off into the sunset? How about riding off into One brighter than the Sun? Because in that case, He’s got you covered.

Faith