I sat down this morning with my Bible and opened it up to the passage that has been massaging my heart as of late – Psalm 121. I read the Psalm and was about to reflect on it when I realized I couldn’t remember what I had just read. I read it so fast it just blew through my head, in one ear and out the other so to speak.
I had just turned 12 the day America was attacked. I was naïve to the world, having just started 7th grade in the “big school” and trying to find my place among my friends and classmates. But on September 11, 2001 I realized that the rest of the world was a lot closer than I thought.
I was in band class when the announcement came over the PA system – we had been attacked. We were playing “Phantom of the Opera” and I was on drums. We paused for the announcement and stood in awe for several moments afterward. There was no television in the band room. Not wanting to scare us, our band teacher had us continue playing for the rest of the class, but it had a different tone to it. We were all distracted, wondering what these attacks meant. Why did they happen?
I am a soldier – a warrior – in the United States Army, but more important, I am a soldier – a warrior – in God’s Army. But I can’t fight a battle by myself. When I try to fight on my own, of my strength, I fail. Every time I will fail. However, when I give up my strength and take the hand of Jesus, He gives me His strength I am guaranteed to never fall. I may stumble now and again, but all I need to do is take His hand again and He pulls me back up into His arms. I gain His strength and He stays with me, because He promises to never leave me nor forsake me. Nothing I do could ever separate His love from me. I am safe when I with Him – safe to mess up, safe to forget, safe to come back and safe to be forgiven. He is always there, waiting with open arms and ready to take my hand again. It’s never Him that lets go. It’s always me who lets go when I think I can handle something on my own. When I inevitably fall, Jesus is still right there to catch me and pull me back up when I reach out for His hand. We walk together and He gives me His strength and the confidence I need to keep on driving on. I can be strong and courageous because of His hand in mine, leading me out of my sin and into my purpose and destiny.
As a follow-up to my previous post, I wanted to give an update on the house we were praying for, and many of you were praying with us about. We waited patiently all week to hear back from the homeowners, sometimes anxiously as we prayed and thought about what life in the house might be like. We were trying not to get our hopes up, but I think in some ways we did. When thinking about the future it’s hard not to get excited at all the possibilities you know await you.
Waiting is never fun. Waiting on a situation that feels absolutely perfect is even less fun. But do we really know what’s best for ourselves? Is it really going to be the best thing possible for us? We never know for sure, and the grass is always greener on the other side.
This is the situation my fiancé and I find ourselves in right now. We recently began the search for a house where we will build our lives together. Almost from the very beginning we spotted one that looks absolutely perfect. Just the right size for a young couple who wants to build a family down the road. The price was right, and the homeowners were willing to do a rent-to-own for the first year or so because of the unique situation of me being gone for Army work. We did all the right steps, sought counsel from our elders and felt a peace about the house.