Hebrews 4: MSG
15 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all; all but the sin.
1Ki 19: MSG
9 When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep. Then the word of GOD came to him: “So Elijah, what are you doing here?”
10 “I’ve been working my heart out for the GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies,” said Elijah. “The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.”
11 Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before GOD. GOD will pass by.” A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before GOD, but GOD wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but GOD wasn’t in the earthquake;
12 and after the earthquake fire, but GOD wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
13 When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, “So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?”
14 Elijah said it again, “I’ve been working my heart out for GOD, the GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, because the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed your places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.”
15 GOD said, “Go back the way you came through the desert to Damascus. When you get there anoint Hazael; make him king over Aram.
16 Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi; make him king over Israel. Finally, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
17 Anyone who escapes death by Hazael will be killed by Jehu; and anyone who escapes death by Jehu will be killed by Elisha.
18 Meanwhile, I’m preserving for myself seven thousand souls: the knees that haven’t bowed to the god Baal, the mouths that haven’t kissed his image.”
While at work as a morning manager at a fast food chain I received a call from my mother that a cousin had fallen to his death while working on scaffolding fixing the barn on the farm. I asked for time off from my job to be able to travel home and attend the funeral.
I will never forget that funeral service because it was to teach me a lesson that I will never forget. While sitting there through some hymns and such it was time for the pastor to deliver the eulogy. I was expecting the same old style, but this time was different. His opening statement took me by surprise it was this, “Life is not Fair”.
That statement gave me a new perspective about life on planet earth. It provided me an answer for those things that happen in our journey through life that have no rhyme or reason. Sometimes, like Christ spoke, “it rains on the just and the unjust”.
Trials and tribulations are not a respecter of persons. Cancer does cross all societal lines, diabetes will stricken a young child. Death sometimes takes people from our life way too soon. The only thing we have to hold onto is the promise of God, He will be there!
I am not afraid to admit today that I suffered through a period of depression in my early thirties. Yes, I tried to commit suicide through an overdose of sleeping pills. It is a terrible feeling and a lie from the enemy of our soul that we are the only one going through this terrible trial. A feeling that whispers to us that no one understands me.
I did come through the other side of that trial and seemingly felt fine. Yet, there were times when around a crowd I would experience times of anxiety. I remember when incident vividly. I was at the grocery store about midnight because I thought it would be a quiet time to do so. I was about half way through my shopping when I experienced an overwhelming anxiety attack. I did not finish my shopping, but, left the cart full of groceries right in the aisle and ran home.
I have never been one to have lots of friends in my life. This would seem contrary to a life as an evangelist and then a pastor. I have a personality that some would say borders on being a recluse. I admit I can stand my own company for quite a long period of time. So, there are many times where I have felt total loneliness in my life. Also, there have been times where I have experienced quite extreme highs.
In 2000 I went through another time of having to deal with the enemy of death, the death of my mother. It was the beginning of an almost two decade battle. The lowest time was the passing of my grandmother in 2004.
Once again the voice of suicide raised its ugly head. This eventually landed me in the hospital on the mental health wing many times over a period of several years. I was very fortunate to end up with a fantastic psychiatrist. Over time it was determined that I was bi-polar. I was placed on a regimen of different medications and now I live a even life without experiencing manic highs and lows.
I chose the above scriptures because it depicts a prophet who was going through his own trial of feeling totally misunderstood, persecuted for his faith of God. On the run because of Jezebel putting a price on his head. He hid in a cave asking God, why him? He felt like he was the only one left who had not given in to bowing down to the god of Baal. Finally, the Word of God spoke to him and let him know that God had set aside seven thousand others who had not bow down to Baal.
Now jump ahead to the garden of Gethsemane and Christ is going through a low time himself. He felt as if he would crumpled under the burden placed on him.
Then on the cross beaten, bruised, a crown of thorns on His head we hear him cry out to the father “why have you forsaken me”.
Yes, He was tried beyond measure, more than any man has ever known. So, when I feel like the road is too rough, the mountain too high, the valley too wide and the river too deep I have the promise of the following scripture:
1Co 10: MSG
13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
If you are feeling alone, frightened and worried that you cannot move forward please ask the Lord to hold you hand, remember, Don’t worry, He’ll Be There!
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