Monday, March 3, 2008

By Thy Grace We Will!

Tonight I was fretting over all the evil in the world... how it seems that darkness seems to prevail on every hand.

The flesh prevails in my life, and that which I would not, that I do. Christians disappoint me every day. Families that I once looked up to, are breaking apart. People that I admired have fallen to making their lives worthless and wasted. Sin is everywhere. Rampant, the stench reaches it's ugly tentacles into our homes, our churches, our neighborhoods, our government.

On every hand, the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array...

Today as I drove to the Capitol, the bleak grey skies and my dirty, ice-caked windshield wipers reflected my mood. I contemplated all of the things likely to happen this week, and how I ought to respond. It seemed as if there was just too much to deal with, and it all became quickly overwhelming.

After a couple of hours of work in the Capitol, my whirling thoughts were put back on track when I joined one of the senators for a quick stroll over to an event that was going on. He was telling me about a huge disappointment he had in a couple of people who have supported him for years in his campaigns, and how he's fought for bills that he thought were the right thing (which these people always supported). Supporting these particular bills has not been a popular thing to do, and as a result, he has been marginalized and denied many things by the "powers that be." He was shaking his head and saying, "It's hard to believe that they'd just go turn their backs on me now after my long record of doing what was right over what was politically popular. I have given up many political possibilities, simply because I stand firm on that issue."

Then he smiled and said, "Just shows you that you can't put your trust in people. They WILL disappoint you. They will hurt you and malign you and leave you. I've learned that the only One I can and should trust is my Lord and Saviour. When your full confidence is there, it doesn't really matter what all the other people think or do to you."

His comments stabbed me with a pang of gratefulness that there are men like him in government, that there are some who are faithful and true to their Lord. I sighed a quick, "Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that evil has not won the final victory. YOU will!"

On my way back to our rental house near the Capitol, I stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things. As I went through the aisle full of books, a stand titled, "Best-Sellers!" caught my eye. What, I wondered to myself, is America reading these days?

Of course, there were a few novels and biographies... and... Harry Potter. My heart sank again. Harry Potter is a best seller, after all this time? Well, of course, I should have known that. Our country is a mess.

Then a glimmer of hope - next to the Harry Potter book, were two different paperbacks - containing the story of William Wilburforce's life, the man who freed England's slaves... the friend of John Newton, author of Amazing Grace. Across their covers in large letters, "New York Times' Best Seller!"

Again, I felt humbled. Evil hadn't totally overcome good. Obviously, there was a lot of interest in this excellent story.

I thought of my friend, Christy's words from earlier today - "God's showing me that He doesn't need my help to fix the world, and that He is in control, even if I don't think He's acting fast enough or doing what I would do!"

I breathed a sigh of relief. It's not my responsibility to make sure that America reads good books, or to see that families stay together, or to make our government do what it ought to do.

It's my job to be faithful where God has put me, and to get up every morning and arm myself against the fleshly lusts that "war against my soul."

I shouldn't for one minute get up and forget that I have an enemy just over the hill who is eagerly preparing for battle with me this day. It's a scary thought when I think of the enemy I have to face and how many other soldiers have been wounded and fallen in battle...
It's scary till I remember how big my God is, and how he hangs the world on nothing. I can hang my life, my soul, my everything on His Word with full confidence!

See the mighty host advancing,
Satan leading on;
Mighty men around us falling,
Courage almost gone!

"Hold the fort, for I am coming,"
Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to heaven
"By Thy grace we will."

Fierce and long the battle rages,
But our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander -
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!

"Hold the fort, for I am coming,"
Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to heaven
"By Thy grace we will."

-Phillip P. Bliss


Joy said...

Thanks, Mary. Very encouraging post!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mary! Thanks for all your blog thoughts. I too am often burdened at the thought of evil overtaking the world. Even in the young children I work with! Satan and the world get a hold of them so early and it's sad to see the way some of the kids are going, and the poor examples they have to look up to. I just pray that Christ in me will leave an impact on them as they grow up.

Here's a verse I thought of after reading this blog.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Keep encouraged in the Lord!

Love, Rachel U