Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:10-11
The words stab my heart and I stand, dumbstruck, stuck in the moment. Trapped by the sharpness piercing to my very core. “You want to know what they think of you?” The words continue without pause for an answer, “Well I’ll tell you, they think you’re a Jesus Freak, and annoying.” I am left speechless. I read Ephesians, chapter six, just this morning, yet I find my heart racing and eyes filling. I am staring into eyes that are hostile, cold and look almost amused at the slight victory of the moment. I’ve got to say something but the hurt, betrayal and surprise cause me to stumble. I am wounded and bleeding.
I want to run. Hide. Retreat. Recover somehow.
Everything I know, believe, hope seems distant with the blow.
I think of Judas…again.
I think of Jesus.
I think of Peter, and Paul and Mary’s faith.
I think of the crowds.
My head is spinning and I ‘m trying still to catch my breath, because of the sobs I’m choking back and not understanding. I know this Christian walk is not supposed to be easy. I have called myself the same and laughed about it. What I am is what I am, there is no denying. I would rather be called a Jesus Freak than any other name. But the hiss of disapproval from one so close, stings and burns to the bone.
It could not have been a more stupefying moment if I was a deer standing in the middle of a road, staring down a car, trying to figure out what was coming toward me. I’m looking dead ahead but don’t perceive the hit that’s about to come.
It is not an enemy who taunts me–I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me–I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you–my equal, my companion and close friend. Psalm 55:12-13
Perhaps it was inevitable.
This collision of faith.
My breathing steadies.
My eyes are almost dried.
I blink hope.
Maybe the scripture I read this morning was not a waste, despite my momentary setback.
Not at all…and I perceive the heart within me beating rhythmically.
His word never returns void, does it?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Trust, lean, acknowledge. Him.
He’s got my back.
He’s got the back of those who I love and who don’t love Him back.
Lord, sometimes I don’t understand everything that happens, but I choose to trust you to direct my paths. I thank you that you are a trustworthy, faithful God. You’ve got this. Keep me standing firm as I acknowledge You. By grace through faith, in Jesus name. Amen.