In the Garden of Eden, God took dust and breathed His own breath into it, and man became a living soul. This was life. It was the Creator of the universe creating a people for Himself, to walk with Him and to live out His perfect plan.
For the last several months, I’ve been watching the LORD heal my granddaughter Sophia. Right before she was born, she aspirated meconium in the womb, which made breathing difficult for her when she came out. It took the midwives longer than usual to help her take her first breaths, and to become comfortable with her vital signs. Shortly after they left, the enemy tried to steal Sophia’s breath again, and snuff out her life, but God had other plans! He prompted us to come against the enemy’s attack with strong prayer, and we cried out to the LORD to fill her with His own breath and Holy Spirit. Immediately, Sophia opened her eyes and started breathing again, all glory to God! She ended up being transported to a local children’s hospital, where she spent her first couple months. Many were lifting her up in prayer, and slowly and steadily she got better and stronger! She is now home with her mom and dad, praise God!
Yesterday while I was driving, the LORD brought to my mind how this physical battle Sophia has experienced is a perfect illustration of what we see happening in the spiritual realm. Ever since the Garden, the enemy of our souls has sought to snuff out this breath and extinguish this life God has given to His people. He wants to snuff out our peace, snuff out our joy, snuff out our ability to rest, snuff out our testimony, snuff out our effectiveness as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and ultimately to snuff out our literal life and breath.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 5:8-11)
The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Though the enemy of our souls has temporary influence on this earth, the LORD God of Heaven and earth still sits on the throne, and nothing takes place that is out of His control. Much peace comes in surrendering the need to “know why”, choosing instead to trust the sovereign hand of our good and gracious, holy and righteous, just and all-knowing King. He knows what’s best, even when we don’t understand or can’t trace His hand.
In those times we don’t understand what’s going on, we can still TRUST in the one true God, and KNOW He created us for His GLORY and our GOOD, as ambassadors of HIS Kingdom not our own, to dwell with our hearts fixed on ETERNITY, not here on this temporary place beneath our feet. In eternity, things will make way more sense, and our LORD GOD tells us to “build up our treasures” there, NOT here. This means we take all things here in light of THERE, and do not let the enemy’s attacks bring doubt and skepticism about the nature of our good and gracious LORD and KING.
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,” says the LORD, “thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Moreover, the LORD said to Job, “Shall he who would find fault with the Almighty contend with Him? He who disputes with God, let him answer it. Then Job replied to the LORD, “Behold, I am of small account and vile! What shall I answer You? I lay my hand upon my mouth.” (Job 40:1-4)
He is worthy, and He is able, and He knows how to run things far better than we do! We CAN TRUST Him and REST in His plan, both on the mountaintops, and in the valleys!
God is holy and God is just. God is also merciful and kind. We need to trust He knows best even when we don’t understand. It is very difficult sometimes, but it’s also very freeing to acknowledge GOD is GOD and we are not – and to REST in that truth. It brings a peace that surpasses all understanding. When we humble ourselves, and truly come to the END of ourselves, He is able to do wonders in and through us! Not only that, but He wants to walk WITH us through the good times AND the bad. It is a COMFORT knowing we can lean on HIM when things get tough.
Blessed be the God and Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance]…. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, to boastful) – [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (I Peter 5:5b-7)
“You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart… Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied…. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me…. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (Your rightness and Your justice). O LORD, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. (Psalm 51:6,8,10,12-15)