How often do I start running scared when threatening events, circumstances, or people seem to be looming over me? It's easy for "flight" to be my natural reaction even though I know how wrong that is. God will be with me in all things. He is not telling me there won't be tough times but He is saying that ultimately He will prevail. Tough as it is to live this out, I also believe that tough times are to be embraced because God has big lessons for us in those tough times ... preparation for other seasons of our life ... preparation for things the future may hold ... preparation for calls He may put on our lives at a later date. Who would want to miss any of that?
Romans 8:28 says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." With that assurance, we should embrace the tough times, even revel in them and be happy, knowing God's promise that it will all work out in the end. And it does. I know it does. How many times have we all faced things that made us want to cringe or flee and yet, in the end, we saw God's providential activity ... we saw Him at work ... we saw the beauty and wonder of all things ultimately working together for some sort of good, often Kingdom-building good. But yet, in the face of fear, human emotions and frailty take over and drive us to places where we know we needn't go.
When I was in Israel, I saw the mountains where David ran to when he was being chased. It is rough, craggy terrain, not someplace you would normally venture unless you felt the hot breath of those who were out for your head lapping at your heels. In this case, they were mountains of refuge and protection and God did protect David there, even though his enemies were extremely close to him at times, close enough for David to snip away a part of Saul's coat.
But I think there is a difference today ... that the Holy Spirit is working here on earth through the hearts of believers and that, in the tough times, we are to hold our ground, gaining encouragement and support from the Spirit through the other believers that we surround ourselves with. I don't think God wants us to run to the craggy mountains for protection today but to instead stand firm in His promise of protection and justice and the ultimate good as promised in Romans 8:28.
So, with that, I will start my day, certain to encounter circumstances that make me want to flee at times but yet confident that God will be there, that His banner of protection will cover me, that He has many lessons for me, and that He is still in control even though the world may seem mad.
1-3I've already run for dear life straight to the arms of God. So why would I run away now when you say, "Run to the mountains; the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows aimed to shoot under cover of darkness at every heart open to God. The bottom's dropped out of the country; good people don't have a chance"?
4-6 But God hasn't moved to the mountains; his holy address hasn't changed. He's in charge, as always, his eyes taking everything in, his eyelids unblinking, examining Adam's unruly brood inside and out, not missing a thing. He tests the good and the bad alike; if anyone cheats, God's outraged. Fail the test and you're out, out in a hail of firestones, Drinking from a canteen filled with hot desert wind.
7 God's business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we're standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.