Fleeting Shadows

   Job 8:9 “ for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.”

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I feel like I have so many words that I want to spew out onto the page yet nothing is coming. I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling around right now I don’t know where to begin.

Trauma.

What is trauma? How do you deal with trauma? Where do you begin to unpack the emotions, the stress, the shock of facing a life-threatening situation? How do you return to “normal” daily living after witnessing some of the most heart pounding, heart wrenching moments where fear grips your heart and begins to squeeze so hard you feel like you’ve stopped breathing? You feel your world moving in slow motion. You feel nothing and everything all at the same time.

How do you go on living without this fear paralyzing your soul? There are just some things that you can never erase from your mind. There are moments in time that you will never get back. You will never be the same person ever again.

Job 1:21 “ And he said, “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Why does God give to some and take from others? I don’t know. But I do know that He has a purpose in all things; the big and the small.  There’s not a single detail in our lives that goes unnoticed by Him.  (Matthew 5:18 “ For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

I was recently reminded that we will forever be on this Earth until God says otherwise. That before we were even thought of, our days were numbered by Him and that He will not take us from this Earth until we have finished serving our purpose; therefore, there is no such thing as a life cut short. (I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this thought.) God knows all, He controls all. Even though we may think a life is cut short based on age or circumstance it is not so (Job 14:5). God knows the outcome of every situation before it evens happens.

Job. To be a person of such faith. To be a person that in the face of adversity can say, blessed be the Lord! I will praise Him!.  How does one accomplish this? How does one get to a place where no matter the darkness that is facing them, can look up to heavens and say I trust you with my whole heart, my whole mind, and with every fiber of my being?

I recently read that fear is the antithesis of faith.  In light of recent personal events of living the nightmare of potentially losing my child, I felt like “o ye of little faith” with the fear that had entered my being.

Have you forgotten what a powerful God you serve, I asked myself with the realization that yes, I have. A God who can melt mountains (Micah 1:4, Nahum 1:5), who has created the heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1), who knows the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30-31) and the stars by name (Psalm 147:4-5). He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. ( Revelation 1:8).

The only way I know how to combat this fear is by putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s scheme. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm….

Sometimes I forget that I am in the midst of battle. I am reminded of the importance of memorizing scripture and having it written upon my heart.

Lately, some passages that have brought comfort to my fearful, trembling heart have been Psalm 23 The Lord is  My Shepherd and Psalm 27.

I recently read this as a daily devotion from First5.org.

 “No holy symbol or Bible in our pocket can protect us and preserve our life. Only God can do that. Only God (Job 14:5)

Our safety and security are not in “things”. Our safety and security are found in God.  In His person.  In His character.  In His work.  He alone is our shield and defense—our very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1; Psalm 28:7)

God you alone are the giver and the protector of life. You determine my days and my times are in your hands. Forgive me, Lord, for the moments and the ways I have sought help and relied on other people or things to deliver me instead of seeking You.  You alone are my strong defender—my sure deliverer—my help and only hope when the battles of life rage all around me.  May my heart be entirely devoted to You in my daily life so that when a crisis comes or a conflict arises, You are the one I reach for and rely on for help.”

James 4:14 “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

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So here we are a fleeting shadow that comes and goes with the rise and fall of the sun. A mist that lingers for only a little while. Do not be overtaken by fear and have peace knowing that God will not take you home until His purpose has been served through you. I write this to remind myself.  Satan can come and wage war all he wants, because he will not prevail! We can stand firm on the Rock that is higher than I and guard ourselves with the armor of the Lord. Prepare yourselves for battle for it is fear that Satan wants creeping into your hearts and minds to rule. Let faith reside.

I’m so thankful to have friends that continue to point me to Christ and encourage me with what God’s word says so that my faith can be restored in Him and to fend off the fear that keeps knocking on my door.

I’m writing this as part of my way of processing my recent trauma. I hope it makes sense as I still have not entirely processed the past few days myself, but felt like I needed to write and look at scripture for comfort. If you have a favorite verse that brings comfort to you or helps you fend off fear, please share. I’d love to add them to my repertoire as I take one day at a time….like a fleeting shadow.

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