I am happy to report that I am adjusting to my new home.
The mountains are beginning to work their magic on me – and I can feel the beauty of my surroundings sinking into my soul.
Truly, the views here are fantastic.
A couple of weeks ago, "The Hub" and I took a hike – (there are tons of trails up here). Notice that I said we took this hike together. It was not one of those times when I said to "The Hub" – "Go take a hike."
Yes, this was an afternoon glorying in God's creation.
However, though I am doing better and better up here, my heart is still heavy.
Because, you see, a person very dear to me who still lives *down the hill* is really struggling.
Walking through a deep valley, a dark place.
Many people have come alongside, offering comfort and empathy – and advice. I continue to offer what counsel I can. Praying always that the Holy Spirit would make me say (or not say) what is needed.
But, at the end of the day, this person's struggle is their own.
Walking through a wilderness, in many ways, is a solitary journey.
The hardest thing for me has been watching this person wrestle spiritually. I know this person is a believer, but to witness their frustration and disappointment with God is tough.
Sometimes I wonder (worry) – what if they give up on the whole thing and walk away?
I have no control over this, of course.
Just as each person's wilderness is their own, so it is with their faith.
Salvation is a matter between God and each person.
Single, solitary – deeply personal.
The "walking out" of that faith is also an individual journey.
Absolutely – we do not walk alone. We have friends who walk beside us, we have the Word of God – we have the eternal Presence of God Himself, the One who never leaves us nor forsakes us.
But, in some ways, our soul is alone in the world, and alone in its communion with God.
And so, I watch this person struggle – with life issues, yes – but even more painfully, with faith issues.
The enemy taunts me as I watch him taunt this person.
"They're going to be totally ineffective in their life. They're going to turn their back on God. You know that, right?"
Oh, how I hate his words.
As I watch him "pick on" this other person, I want to punch the devil in the eye.
"Go away! Leave them alone," I want to scream.
Yesterday, I was making the long and lonely two-hour trip back home after spending a few days down below where I used to live. I was being tortured by my thoughts…
And then, a Voice spoke to me:
"I WILL NOT LET GO."
Just five words.
Just five incredible words.
Sometimes God speaks in a whisper. This time He shouted.
I nearly felt the car reverberate with the resounding promise.
God repeated it several times, each time sounding more forceful, more inspiring, more comforting…
"I. WILL. NOT. LET. GO."
And then, right after I heard it yet again, I turned on my radio to a local Christian station. The first words I heard were literally…
"…to the ends of the earth."
Can you believe the impact of that thought? Said by God to me, and then *coincidentally* coordinated with the radio?
"I WILL NOT LET GO…to the ends of the earth."
Now I know that I have no control over the course of this other person's life, and not much influence over their faith.
But God, who loves them way more than I do, knows all about them. Knows intimately about this deep valley, this dark place where they are walking. Because He is there with them – whether they feel Him or not.
And I know the truth – the Truth – that God will not let go of His child. He will never turn His back on them, He will bring them through this time – He will walk them through the refining fire into their purpose, His purpose, on the other side.
I know because God told me.
"I WILL NOT LET GO."
May these words from HIS Word comfort and strengthen you, as they have done for my weary and heavy-laden heart as I apply them to my dear struggling friend:
"From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me." (Psalm 129:2)
"'They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,' declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 1:19, NIV)
"From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me." (Psalm 61:2, 3)
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom." (Isaiah 40:28, NIV)
"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)
"And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day." (John 6:39)
Yes indeed – the Creator OF the ends of the earth will go TO the ends of the earth to help us when we cry out to Him FROM the ends of the earth.
And though the gates of hell itself may come up against His children, not one will ever be lost.
Praise His glorious name.
What promise has God spoken to you lately?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"