Here’s what I’m learning. There’s a lot to be afraid of in this life, country, world. A lot, if you don’t count Jesus. There’s a lot to run from, deny, and avoid. There are what-ifs that seem increasingly probable, imminent. Scenarios form on the horizon like magic-eye pictures, certain hopes begin to feel ridiculous. Things look bad, if you leave Jesus out.
Here’s what I know. There’s a battle raging for our souls, and failing that, a battle for our minds. I mean, I know what I know, but do I believe it? Jesus said, I will never leave you or forsake you. He said, Be anxious for nothing. He promised, Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. And I know all of this. I’ve known it since I was five. But what do I believe in the middle of the night?
They say knowledge is power. And, I guess, in a sense that’s true. But it’s not the whole story. Knowledge is one thing; action worked-out from a place of belief is another. For me, the last two weeks have been daily prolonged battles to believe the Lord and his word. They’ve included almost-hourly bloody Enemy onslaughts on my fragile sense of well-being. There have been multiple invitations to splash down, and drown, in a pool of anxiety and despair. Closed-throat, shallow breathing, eyes wide open, heart slowly closing.
I’d love to say that I feel fine now but I don’t. My heart is racing even as I type this. What I know is, Jesus is near. He loves me and he is helping me, minute by minute. He has not decided to give me the peace that passes understanding just yet. I’ve asked him several times. But what I know now, what I truly believe, is that there is a battle for my mind, and for yours. The Enemy requests my presence at his nihilistic parties, constantly attempts to seduce me into hopelessness. He knows he cannot truly have me, but he’d like to see me paralyzed just the same.
Jesus will not let him.