Everyday I am given the opportunity to dress myself in the full armor of God or walk vulnerable into enemy territory.
With his hand on his forehead, Daniel recently stood beside my bed at 4:30 in the morning and whispered, “Mom, my head is killing me. I think I have brain cancer.”
From 2007 until 2010, Daniel swallowed chemotherapy pills daily and underwent monthly injections to kill off the leukemia cells attacking his little body. While his healing enables us to be blessed on this side of treatment, I’d be a liar if I told you I don’t worry.
I gave Daniel two Tylenol and allowed him to spend the remainder of the night snuggled in my arms. He rested and my mind raced: “Does he have brain cancer, Lord?”
Once I opened the door to that doubt, my journey quickly gathered steam: “You know, at the grocery store yesterday people were staring at me holding Harrison. Do they think I am her grandmother?”
Once I found peace in the fact I am a young 44, the next thought hit me, “I will be fifty when she enters first grade!”
That led to another fruitless fear, “Do You think I made Lee mad today when I forgot to return his text? I’m in sweats when he leaves for work and covered in spit-up when he comes home. He probably doesn’t love me anymore.”
I was a mess within minutes.
Do you see what happened? Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on THEE….” All I was doing was focusing on ME. Rather than enjoying the state of comfort and peace promised by my loving Savior, I had created a situation of complete panic because of my undisciplined thought life.
I looked just like the Israelites who, on the edge of the Promised Land, did not believe the positive report of Caleb and Joshua, but chose rather to believe the negative account of the vocal majority who left God’s power out of their problems. The fearful reported, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13:33).
Sadly, failing to put their trust in the Lord, these men and women on the cusp of receiving God’s promise were never allowed to taste the harvest. Rather than enjoying the bounty of the land, their choice to focus on their insecurities over the safety found in the arms of their Shepherd saw them banished from His blessing and forced to wander the desert for 40 years.
Ugh. How often do I rob myself of joy and peace because of my stubborn refusal to surrender all to Him?
Two books later in Judges, a Canaanite woman divulged what her people had thought about the Israelites all along, “…our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below (Judges 2:10-11).
Could it be? The pagan saw what God’s own people were too blinded by discouragement to see.
God is trustworthy and true. He will fulfill all He’s promised.
Whatever the giants in our lives, whether pride, selfishness, an unholy thought life, self-centeredness, or lack of discipline, when we admit we cannot overcome them ourselves but rather place our complete trust in Him and the fact He is bigger than any boogieman, we can leave our wilderness and enter the Promised Land.