Ghosts of Chains Not Yet Gone…

A few posts ago (I’ve forgotten how many), I wrote about taming the dragon of fear. Now I have another dragon my still, small Voice is asking me to tame. I hear the first dragon’s chains rattling, but I know if I don’t obey, I will have to wrestle both dragons at once.

We are going to be wrestling mistrust. It could be argued that it is the same as the fear dragon. However, at its heart, where its substance lies, there is a subtle difference. Fear simply involves being afraid. Mistrust takes that and adds the twist of being afraid because people are uncontrollable, unpredictable. Some are down right cold, cruel, heartless wretches wrapped in beautiful bodies, sound minds, and shiny clothes and possessions.

How are we going to wrestle this one? Right now, I don’t know. But the still, small Voice takes me back to the Truths He inspired men to write over thousands of years ago.

First, all men are broken, from the homeless addict on the street to the preacher in the pulpit on Sunday in a shiny Italian suit. We break our connection with others through pride, through gossip, through poor choices with no thought for the consequences. In breaking our connection with others, we break our connection to the still, small Voice.

Second, we need to admit that nothing we ever do will fix this brokenness. We cannot go to hundreds of church services, we cannot do thousands of good deeds, we cannot deny ourselves rich foods and hours of Internet and glasses of wine.

The only way to fix this brokenness is to follow the instructions of the still, small Voice. Accept that Jesus is the only way to even begin to work on brokenness.

Then start to try to follow the Words of the still, small Voice. Find others who will follow the still, small Voice with you in a way that matches your personality and abilities. But they need to not only follow, they also need to challenge you, to sharpen you when you start to fall away from the Words of the still, small Voice.

Interwoven throughout is the knowledge that you will always be broken but your goal is to be a little less broken each day through time with Jesus. As another’s brokenness increases yours or your brokenness increases another’s, you have to return to the foot of the cross and lay it at the feet of Jesus, trusting that His Stripes will heal the brokenness and bring you closer to Him.

So that, my friends, is where I am today. My dog was stolen. My kids are heartbroken. I am wrestling mistrust. However, I trusted my family enough to keep my kids yesterday, while I trusted my husband enough to take me to a Tenebrae service. And it’s a start…

As the Scriptures read reflected the emptiness in my heart and the darkening church represented my heavy, darkening heart, I was led by the ministers to consider sin, betrayal, agony, injustice–the very evils Jesus has vanquished by His death and resurrection and will one day completely overcome by thrusting them into Hell, locking the gates, and throwing away the keys.

I realized that imitating the forgiveness of Jesus was the only way to continue to be a Romans 8 overcomer. So, at the end of the service, when they played “The Old Rugged Cross,” I thought of the grandmother who used to tell me she had a voice but didn’t anymore. I thought of all the songs that she would sing, and I have mini-memories, ghosts of images, of looking at her through crib rungs and listening in a happy place.

I wish I could argue with her today. She had a Voice. Her still, small Voice planted in me a hunger for salvation through the hymns that were my lullabies. As the song continued, I forgot where I was and just raised my hands in praise to the only Deity I ever knew that loved me enough to die for me, Jesus Christ.

When it came my time to show some sign of my appreciation for the Cross, I knelt and grabbed the base of that representation of all that Jesus has done. To chain the dragon of mistrust, I will cling to the Cross where Love poured out all He had. Someday, He will give me a crown.

“It may be Friday night, but Sunday’s on the way!”

“God is good all the time. All the time God is good.”

Maranatha!

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