I realized I don't sing as often as I used to. Before losing Dad, worship was my go-to response for everything. And throughout his illness, I sang. I sang to Jesus, and I sang Jesus songs to Dad. I also sang them to myself to keep me brave. This week is the second anniversary of his passing, and I've recognized I let disappointment steal my song. It's time to get up, wash my face, and rediscover my weapons of warfare.
Ephesians 6 says, "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." My pastor, Jason Forby, says, "That means there is a fight going on, and if you aren't aware you're in a battle, you are probably getting your butt kicked." I believe disappointment is one of the devil's favorite ways to hand us our butt on a platter.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've been talking about our need for a Jesus-centered perspective and faith. We often struggle with our faith because we get discouraged and disillusioned somewhere along the way. The Bible says, "hope deferred makes the heart sick." That's something we can all relate to! But how can we keep from getting disappointed when we put our faith in God for something, and it doesn't work out the way we felt it should?
A perfect example of this dilemma is COVID. People of faith around the world have been praying about COVID. None of us thought, 2 years in, that we would still be dealing with this mess. Many of us are disillusioned and tired of praying. And now, instead of getting mad at the devil and his schemes (see Ephesians 6), we are angry at each other. We blame politics, China, the media, and the pharmaceutical companies. We are classic examples of deferred hope, leading to heart sickness and bitterness. That's a sign we are getting our butts kicked by the devil's schemes, and most of us don't even know it.
The Passion Translation of Ephesians 6 says, "Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God's complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser!" I translate that to mean my life-union with Jesus is my strength. When I lean into Him instead of away from Him in seasons of hurt and disappointment, I have access to His supernatural power.
That doesn't mean He tells me all the whys. On this side, I don't get to know why Dad wasn't healed or why COVID hasn't gone away. But what I do get to know on this side is Jesus. And that is enough. That verse that says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick," goes on to say, "hope fulfilled is a tree of life." A tree of life points straight to Jesus. He died on a tree to give you knew life. The kind of life that can withstand whatever this world and the devil throw at you because Jesus is your hope. Not your circumstances, but Him. He is enough. Lean into Him, tell Him how you feel, and armor up. Time to get your butt back from the enemy and off that platter!
Cris Corzine-McCloskey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Director of Caring Counseling Ministries. CCM is a not-for-profit corporation for the purpose of providing counseling from a Biblical perspective at an affordable cost to persons living in Southern Illinois. Our office is located at 11264 Route 37 Marion, IL. To make an appointment, please call (618) 997-2129.