Monday, January 4, 2016

Forks, Fear, and Faith

Another new year. So many folks shouting happy happy happy. As I look out the windshield to another new year, I am not filled with anticipation. I hear strange noises and the fuel is nearly gone and my wallet is at home. I freely admit I am anxious and a little afraid, and feeling pretty weak...unable to handle all that will come at me.
You see, I know what life can bring. Or better said, what life can take away from us—the sudden losses out of nowhere that change the course of our lives forever. I used to feel like Legolas in The Lord of the Rings, who could look with steely eyes at whatever faced him, determined that he would prevail. I feel more like Frodo now, with big eyes wondering, "Huh? Me?"
So this morning as I took all this to God, not hiding my weakness or my fears, I heard Him remind me: "In your weakness, I am strong." And "I am in you, and I'm greater than he that is in the world." Finally, "What I've begun in you, I will finish."
So I stand at this fork in the road. As my dear friend and teacher John Lynch says, "but I don't want to choose! I just want to walk this path where I've been walking!" Will I give in to doubt and fear? Or will I walk the walk of faith, trembling each step? That's the choice. And it must be made.
And somewhere off in the distance I hear the cries of the imprisoned, those in the camps surrounded by watchtowers and barbed wire, while the enemy parades around in mocking arrogance, laughing. They are real people inside. Each one desires life and laughter and hope. And I hate that the enemy holds them. I hate that he thinks he's winning.
And so I reach down and put on my belt of truth (the enemy does not win), my breastplate of righteousness (His, not mine!, that says I am enough), my gospel shoes (the real good news, that He's done it, we can rest!), my helmet of salvation (nothing can take this away from me, and nothing fashioned against me can prevail against me), I pick up the shield of faith with trembling hands (believing all that I'm not sure I believe...that He is enough), and the sword of the Spirit...and shout "Freedom! Aye, I will fight!"
All of this said trying to convince myself. As I reread and reread wondering when it will all be true again. I cannot face this new year with Legolas' steely-eyed determination. But I can walk in faith as Frodo, taking another step, believing...and trusting in all those around me who will fight alongside me, who will not give up. And who will not let me give up.
This video sums it up well, and if you've not seen it, take the time to do so: