The incredible truth of declaring “it is well with my soul”, is the fact that in any given moment, it very well might not be. It is easy enough to declare ‘my soul is at peace’ when all about us is calm and peaceful. But to speak words of power into the darkness and turmoil of desperate, troubling times is not easy. This bravery wields a confident expectation that is the core of the valiant shieldmaiden of Christ: to declare that He conquers all, that the battle and the strength is truly his. And for those who are His, the victory is already won. It Is Well With My Soul is not wishful thinking or self-delusion. It is a powerful stance that we can and must take in the darkest moments. When Satan bends so much circumstance to his will in order to make us despair, we answer his challenge with the battle cry: you have no power over me. Christ is Victorious, and so it is well with my soul!
It occurred to me a few years ago that as our faith deepens, so can our capacity for melancholy–it seems the two can be quite attached. I remember reading that Mother Theresa had struggled more with her faith in the last few years of her life than ever before. At the time, the idea occurred to me that the longer we press into God, the more we discover Him, the more we discover how much we don’t know and can’t understand about him. And, truth be told, we simply don’t like that. The more we invest in God, the more we learn about him, the closer we want to be to having a handle on who and what He is. We really do want him to be small enough to understand, to comprehend, and perhaps even, to control. It’s unsettling when we discover that that doesn’t happen. We just get more and more capable of understanding how infinitely big God is, and more and more aware of how incapable we are of understanding him. Our concept of Big gets even bigger. And sometimes that realization is depressing. Perhaps we need to accept that a hallmark of a maturing faith, is that the sunshine and lollypops of the Santa-God who grants three wishes dissappears. Replaced by a mysterious and wild God whom we can neither predict nor control.
And all the while, God can hold onto us, even when he seems so alien to us, we don’t even know where to hold on to him.
I’m working like crazy to get my Etsy store open by September 1st, and in anticipation of that goal, I’ve put together an Instagram photo challenge. Just to have some fun during August to get the word out during this pre-launch season. If you’re interested in knowing more about the Armory Journal, click the link in the menu, and join our Facebook group. There will be pre-order specials this month, so be sure to follow here, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to catch them while they’re available!
Living Hope Community Church meets at Ironwood Elementary School, and to enter, you must pass through a small gated courtyard before you reach the doors to the worship space.
Every Sunday we are able to come to our church space, pass through the gates, enter through the door, and participate in the worship service. There are no requirements, no check points, no guards at the door who require you to prove your worthiness to enter. You are not restricted by your age, your gender, your education, your finances or your past. You aren’t stopped because of who your parents are or were. You don’t have to present papers, or pay to enter. You are welcomed in freely.
But what if that weren’t the case? What if you showed up and there were chains on the gate? What if, suddenly, you were made to enter though a side door, and wait for the chance that you might (or might not) be allowed to enter? What if someone or something owned you, and you weren’t free to worship how or where or when you wanted, because the one who owned you had forbidden it?
Do you feel that you are a woman of strength? Are you powerful? Strong? Equipped? Do you feel prepared to face the battles that may come your way? Are you angry? Hurt? Burdened? At war?
Do you know what “Victory in Christ” is? I wonder if any of us truly do, because it seems clear that very few of us are living victoriously. The saving work of Jesus and his Gospel is an ongoing event in your life. It predates the moment when you accepted Christ and submitted to him—because he was working toward this goal before you knew it—and continues every day after. Salvation in Christ is MORE than simply acknowledging him as God and your Savior. The work that Jesus does in the life of every believer is a continual process that includes saving, healing, equipping, instructing, and sanctification. Continue reading “The battle lines have been drawn”→