Night Terrors, [Protected Children]

night-terrors-21467698 “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,”

Psalm 91:5

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It is easy to fear. This can be the true reaction of a soul smacking up against the vicissitudes of life. Things do fluctuate, and we really can’t predict its issues with us. We hit it at an alarming speed, which only adds to the confusion. Who can act and react to all the twists and turns?And life can get strange. If you’re not afraid sometimes, you may not be human, lol.

But fear can be extracted from the believing Christian. 

“You will not fear” is the ‘buzzword’ repeated over and over. in scripture. And fear is such a complicated thing. (It really doesn’t ‘snack,’ it devours a person.) The believer carries the only antidote to the stark raving fear that eats away at the soul.

“The terror of night,” is a clear description of all that can occur in this life. Terror is such a powerful word. It embeds within with foreboding and a noxious kind of fear. It’s a kind of ‘panic’ in the face of an acute evil. It is hostile to the spirit and it claims all that it gets. Fear can drive a person to do some regrettable things.

 “Nor the arrow that flies by day,” Daylight means that the archer can see his prey. He doesn’t work at night, but uses his eyesight during the day. The arrow he shoots focuses at a singular point. He wants to pierce the heart. He strains at his bow, at the precise moment lets loose.

But we are given this precious promise, that gives us faith and acts like a shield and a buckler. The promise is given to unworthy persons. No one deserves the grace that has been given so freely. But we do take what He gives. We have a ‘stark-raving’ fear on one side, and on the other is a soul under protection. Our decision is obvious.

“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,”

Psalm 91:5

This simple verse puts everything in its place. I’ve read it, and now choose to make it live by faith in this ragged heart of mine. Yes, the promise is real– no mirage and no tricks, no ‘smoke, or mirrors.’ It is a true offer of protection for the ‘child of God.’ He alone meets the need inside our hearts for safety.

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Like this? Check out:

https://brokenbelievers.com/2014/06/26/the-snare-of-the-fowler-psalms-91/

An Eternity With God, [Get Ready]

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18″ So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

2 Corinthians 4:18, (NLT)

This dear ones, is an awesome verse with some pretty profound implications. The more I marinade in it, the better it gets.

But more importantly, it refuses to give in to the temporary. The earthly reality that swirls around us is brief. Its provisional purpose is an exclusive one; it exists to prepare us for an eternity with God. That hope ‘rewires’ us. We must be prepared for this encounter, we must be changed.

The spiritual realities are the ones that are truly real,

And the ‘Bible truths’ are the ones that are really authentic.

Issues must be settled in the temporary ‘here-and-now.’ You might say, without being too audacious, that we’re being groomed to be royals. And maybe we truly are. Perhaps this is the fuller implication of having eternal life? We seem to be destined for a throne. And God is eager enough to make it happen.

C.S. Lewis writes: “We are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it. ‘How he’s grown!’ we exclaim, ‘How time flies!’ It’s as strange as if a fish were repeatedly surprised at the wetness of water. And that would be strange indeed; unless of course, the fish were destined to become, one day, a land animal.”

Eternity is the real world. It is quite unlike anything else. Our present situation is one of preparation: a new ‘language,’ new attitudes, new relationships– in short, a new life. Someday we will shine like a newly minted penny! And some, are starting to shine already.

C.S. Lewis also wrote, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water.  If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”

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Life in the Desert, [Grace]

download (2)Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.”

 -Nancy Spiegelberg

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.

Isaiah 55:1-2, ESV

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Despair and despondency will often drive us to extremes, we are compelled to find some kind of help– and we’ll take it wherever.  But as human beings we seldom exercise any kind of discernment.  Rarely do we ever consider to whom, or at what we are looking to. We often just want relief from the pain.

It really seems we are drawing from poisoned wells, but we unable to discern what we will receive.  We come with our tin cup, and will stand in line to accept a meager couple of swallows.  Experience has taught us not to get our hopes up too high.  After all, the next well will probably be dry.

In contrast, the Spirit of God is a cool, and lush oasis.  There is an abundance of fresh water for all who find him.  Everything is green, and it is a bit overwhelming to us who have struggled so long, with so little.  It seems like we’ve been transported to another world.

But this is what God’s grace and love is like.  We’ve searched and scavenged for so long.  We have become jaded and cynical by our meager success.  Disillusioned by all that life has offered us, we can barely look up to this next possibility.  It just seems to be to good to be true, and we don’t want to be taken in again. But know this:

  1. Grace is a wonder.
  2. God Himself is the only One who can satisfy you.

His very character is life-giving and refreshing.  He constantly gushes up fresh, sweet water.  It is there for us, and he assumes that we will draw on it.  Some of us take a lot of it, but some who are hesitant to stretch out their battered tin cups. They receive what they think they just might deserve (or somehow get away with.)

The wonder of it is that God considers himself to be the exclusive source of “water that refreshes.”  There are some who will ‘point and shout.’  Some claim, “exclusiveness!”  They consider all those who come to the real fount, to be manipulated into coming. But that is seldom the case.

God and His grace is unchanged.  There are no tickets to punch, and we can’t generate enough of any kind of righteousness that lets us draw from the well.  But the well is a gift– not a reward.  It is free, and never a reward for good behavior.  We all must come to the water, crippled and thirsty, or we will never come at all.

Dear one, rest in this place of refreshment.  Drink your fill.  Grace is extravagant, and you can fill your belly.  Throw away that battered cup, and get a pail. His presence is all our heart is looking for.

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I’m Deeply Loved, [and Forgiven]

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“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”

― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

This quote rings resoundly within this heart of mine. It echoes and sings with a confidence that is not logical or reasonable by any stretch of the imagination. But I’m learning that I need to consciously aware of his solid and steadfast love that he has for me. I sometimes forget, and when I finally remember I shake my head, and look around in kind of a stunned silence. He loves me!

But I’m not the only one who is deeply loved. There are millions of others who are walking in this outrageous love. None are worthy; all have sinned. Those who are following are those who have renounced their feeble efforts at self-righteousness. It simply doesn’t work. (But sometimes it takes a while to work this out.)

I ask myself, “What if I got what I deserve?” And when I follow this ‘line-of-thought’ too far, I get a gnawing sense of doom– sort of a panicky fear. To get what I really deserve would be the most terrible thing I could ever know. For “I am the chief of sinners.” I believe my past sin would ‘drown’ most people, I suppose. I try to avoid this ‘religious anxiety’ as best I can. You can’t be ‘good enough’, but you can be ‘bad enough.’

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

Romans 5:8

My mental health can be fairly disruptive to my spiritual health. And I suppose at times I can be quite ‘trying’ to those closest to me. It can be frustrating (I’ve used up all my ‘get out of jail free’ cards.) But now my meds are working, and I have discovered that his grace is more than enough to hold me tight.

Jesus accepts me, receives me, loves me even if others can’t or won’t. I may be ‘defective’ to some, outcast by others, but I am never, ever alone. Jesus loves me– not for what I can do or how I function. He loves me unconditionally.

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him”

1 John 3:1

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