Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
I was 32 years old when I was baptized at the Borden Church of Christ. Honestly, I did it for two reasons. I was a lukewarm believer which was much better than I had been (an agnostic-I didn’t know if there was a God or not and was screaming for someone to help me believe), and I loved my future wife Kristi and felt it was important to her.
Exactly, you’re thinking those aren’t the best reasons to be baptized, but it started me on the journey to become a deacon and share my faith on mission trips, in the pulpit, and these writings. Do I believe that God sent Kristi into my life to help lead me to my salvation? There is no doubt about it to me.
I often think about what I put my hope in before Christ. I won’t go into detail, but I put my hope in fleeting things. I put my hope into myself mostly and consistently let myself down. I think back on the person I was before baptism and really before the last five years and wonder if Kristi did the right thing. I don’t think I would want Madison to be within 100 yards of someone like me when she decides to date (which won’t be allowed until she moves out of the house anyway).
But now, my hope is in Jesus Christ. We have hit rock bottom a few times since that faith has been strengthened with just the daily stress and struggle of life, but sister-in-law’s heart and kidney surgeries, my depression after the tornado, and just raising two stubborn-willed children (I will blame Kristi on that one…I have been told over and over that her father bought a book on how to deal with strong-willed children when she was little. Of course, I don’t have a strong will at all).
How often do we rely on “things” to help us through times of despair? And how often do those things let us down or lead us down the wrong path? Rock bottom, unfortunately, is where the answer often lies. Because it is there when we will stop looking around and we start looking up, and ask how do we get out of this? We have many choices then, but to me the only answer is that we get out by looking up and dropping to our knees.
The Lord is our help and shield. I can promise you that relying on God will never let you down. You may not always like the answer to a question and you may not like the outcome of an action, but Jesus is there for you. He is there for you through prayer or by the actions of a follower who is sent at just the right time.
Are we willing to let go and let God? Are we willing to let go of the frustration, the anger or the bitterness of something that has happened to us? Or will we hang onto it, wallowing in it pointing and blaming?
I think of Joshua 25:15 “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." when I think of where I will turn in times of despair. It is easier to say this in times of good than reacting when you hit rock bottom, so be intentional. Make a point to live for the Lord every day, in good times and bad, and not as a fall back, but even if you do use Him as a fall back, He’ll be there waiting because He loves us.
Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4