Nothing to Dread

Sometimes you find yourself being brave when you don’t want to be brave.  When you didn’t ask to be brave you’re standing in the middle of a situation that takes bravery.   That’s where we found ourselves a year ago.  Standing up against sin.  By ourselves.  Others were affected.  Our children, innocent bystanders, had to be brave too.  They certainly didn’t ask for it.  They just found themselves being brave by necessity.  Our youngest is still being brave.  She fell hard.  The child she counted as best friend was the man in the pulpit’s grand-daughter. Even a year later, she struggles.

My oldest boy found himself on the worship team one Sunday and hasn’t been on a worship team since.

We all found ourselves uprooted from a church we called “home” for 8 years.  It was painful, extremely painful.

We knew what was coming was going to be hard.  God had been showing both Shane and I the battle passage in Ephesians 6 for 2 years before the confrontation.  When we started seeing it we didn’t know what was coming.  As the sin was revealed we knew. but even then I didn’t think it would be that bad.  (Shane knew it would be, but in some areas he’s more of a realist than me).

I didn’t believe that the people I thought were my friends would be that ugly.  I guess I had more faith in humanity than maybe I should have because they were.

It seemed as if we stood alone but we didn’t.  God was with us, but we sure felt alone.

Men and women that fight wars are brave.

We, as Christians, are fighting a war.  We battle against powers and principalities that we don’t understand.

STOP

Ephesians 6: 13 tells us to “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Evil is around us every day.  Sometimes in the places you wouldn’t expect it.  I don’t know what battle you might be facing, but I’m here to tell you that there is nothing to dread even if you’re standing alone, Jesus is by your side.

Today’s hymn is Leaning on the Everlasting Arm.  After the summer I spent in the inner city in 1993 I can’t sing it the same way.  The friends I had there had to stand strong.  They faced a battle against the culture there every. single. day.  Some stood strong, others, fell down and got back up again and again.

Written by Elisha Hoffman with the help of Anthony J. Showalter.  According to Wikipedia, “Sho­wal­ter wrote this tune and words to the re­frain after hear­ing from two friends whose wives had died, and asked Hoff­man to write the re­main­ing lyr­ics.”  It was published in 1887.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arm

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain

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