Why’s it always circumstantial?
Never any real potential
Obvious and so sequential
It always ends the same
Holding out with all that’s in me
Is it worth all this pretending?
A story with an ugly ending is never worth the pain
Since I’m always pretty transparent and authentic with everyone – online and in real life – I’ve decided to make no exception here. A lot of you who I’ve talked with personally know that I have been struggling these past few months – and it’s been almost worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m going to be honest and say that for the most part, we humans don’t really know what we’re up against in this world. Some of us have learned, but it always takes a learning experience for us to realize it.
The Devil does his job very well. He knows what he’s doing, and that’s why he’s still got his job I guess. Because is he good at what he does. He searches for our weakest points – and that’s where he strikes. The best example I can think of comes from the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. The Death Star was unbeatable, unbreakable, and there was no way to get inside. But they found the one small weak spot, and through it, the entire battle station was destroyed.
And that’s exactly what Satan does.
We could have all the strength in the world, the support, the knowledge, the resolve, the convictions, everything, and he’s going to find that one weak spot to penetrate, and through it, he aims to destroy us.
But one thing the Death Star didn’t have – the one thing we do have – is God.
These past few months, the Devil got into my weak spot – my singleness. He knows I’m not content being single, and he used that. And he also found out that I love people, that I have an extreme compassion and care and love for those who are hurting. I want to help and heal everybody to the point where I will sacrifice myself for everybody else. And he thought it would be a good idea to use all of that against me to.
The result was, as one could expect, that I fell into the trap. And three months of confusion, wandering, pain, temptation, failure, even sin, later, I’m a mess on the floor of what was once a solid battle station. One that was bombed and attacked and raided, all silently, all so perfectly that if you passed by me on the street, you wouldn’t have a clue. No one would know that I was almost hospitalized because the stress of my struggling broke down my physical health. No one would know how many tears I’ve cried. No one would know the pain.
But despite all that, despite all the pieces that need to be picked up, this battle station is still standing.
Because He who is in me, even when I mess up and wander and fail and run around with no clue where I am – is always in me, and is greater than he who is in the world.
And I’m going to be okay.
The reason I’m sharing this is because I’m pretty sure you were nodding along as you read this. You understand. You relate. Right now you’re probably thinking of a time where you were that burned-out battle station. Maybe you are right now. We all know where our weak spots are and where Satan attacks us. We’ve all been there. We’re all the same.
But our beaten, battered frame is exactly what God will use the most. One of my favorite verses (I have a lot of favorites) is in 2 Corinthians. I was just going to share the one verse, but in reading the entire chapter, I found that I have to share the entire section in context:
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
When I am weak, then I am strong.
And that’s it.
God can’t use us when we’re “good,” when we don’t think we need Him. It’s so easy to let this world distract you from what His will is for you. It’s so easy to fall into traps. And each one of us has that “thorn” in our flesh, our weakness, our weak spot in the battle station. We are all imperfect. We are all weak. But in that weakness, we are made strong, if we lean into Him. If in the moments where the wind and the waves are drowning us, and we have nothing else to cling to, we choose to cry out to the One whose love never fails.
And His strength will be made perfect.
For so many of us who have been through the struggles and came out still holding onto Him, it’s the most amazing phenomenon ever. A song I love by Mercyme called “Bring the Rain” really sums it up:
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Nothing changes it. Through the hardest times in our lives, Jesus Christ is the same – yesterday, today, and forever. And even in moments where we don’t understand, He does. He sees the future, and He knows the answers. Right now, I don’t know why I am here. I don’t know why things happened the way they did in my life recently. I am sad, I am hurting, I am confused, and I am scared. But my confidence, however wounded my battle station is, is still in Him. These thorns and trials meant to drag us away from God can bring us closer, and I thank God that He is faithful even when we are the straying sheep.
The lyrics I shared way at the top are from a Tobymac song called “All In (Letting Go)” It’s a song I’ve come back to a lot during these past few months. And its lyrics are the most fitting for what I’m going through right now. One day at a time, one moment at a time, venturing into a path when I have no idea where it leads. Because I trust that my Savior is guiding me.
‘Cause I’m letting go of everything I am
And I’m holding on to everything You are
I’m letting go of everything I once was
I’m all in
I’m falling into Your arms again