I would have dispaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord…. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. Psalm 27:13-14

There was a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Alexandria, Egypt.  I had been away from home so long my heart jumped when I saw the sign. I just knew eating there would be the cure for home sickness.

I have been around the world twice and let me tell you, nothing beats home like home.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I ordered the cole slaw.  What does the Egyptians know about southern cole slaw?  They probably understand now, but then I got food poisoning.

You don’t know how bad food poisoning is until you have it. It can kill you for sure.  By the time I got to the hospital I was completely out of it.  I couldn’t move and I could barely respond.  There was nothing I could do to make me better.

I was at the mercy of the people around me. I couldn’t even put a glass or fork to my mouth, someone else had to do that. I had one nurse that could speak one thing “be still.”  It was their strength in my weakness that got me on my feet. I had to rest so I could get strong.

Spiritual despair
Like our bodies our spirits can despair. Our spiritual muscles are disheartened and discouraged. The faith that we thought was so strong and so resilient seems to crumble and stagger under the weight. We used to be so confident and optimistic, maybe even prideful in our faith, until we meet utter ruin.

In my physical weakness I had to lean on others, and so we must in our spiritual weaknesses as well.

I have been on the cliff of spiritual despair. People would say “Sandy, be strong and courageous” and quote Joshua 1:6 to me. It was nice to think they thought of me as Joshua leading people into a promise land. The problem, and you might relate, was my strength and courage had went on without me. I knew it and God knew it, too. (that’s comforting to realize God knows my pain, my darkness)

All I could do was cry a weak petition barely believing He even heard me,“Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation’ ” Psalm 35:3

God whispered back “Be still and know that I am God” Ps 46:10

“Be still” means let go and let God. I wasn’t doing that. I thought I had to conjure up some hidden power to beat this thing. It was like I had to perform some acrobatic flip flop, kung fu roundhouse kick to some invisible enemy hoping I landed it right on the kill spot. The futility of me doing anything only made me worse.

We need to give up not give in.
When we get to the point we can’t move a muscle, not even a spiritual one, we can lean on Him. We can transfer the whole weight, the whole seemingly impossible unpenetratable darkness to Him. It’s giving upward.

How do you do that?
You just lift your hands in the air and say “I don’t know what to do, I don’t understand why, I just can’t get up from this. BUT Lord, I trust you. I can’t but YOU can.” It’s simple and powerful, so look out!

It will be a fight I guarantee you that. A fight to believe He can and will.

That’s it just believe. He will even help you with that too! The Gospel is truly the Good News!

Freedom came in little drips of hope
I went to church thinking it would be my last time and a little old lady asked me if I would sit next to her.  She didn’t talk to me, she didn’t offer me advice, she didn’t have a “word of knowledge.”  She just held my hand during the offering prayer.

When the service was over she thanked me and we parted ways. The only reason I went back the next week was to see if she would do it again and she did. This went on for a few months, and before I knew it I wasn’t under the weight of hopelessness, I was living for something.  I was being still and God was being God.

Q4U: What Scriptures have brought strength into your situation?