It’s seemingly all around us, right? From the moment our alarm sounds each morning until the moment our head hits the pillow after another long day, it’s there. It’s on our car radios, it’s in our work spaces, homes, and our “suppose to be fun and enjoyable” social media.
What is it?
I’m talking about pain, division, sorrow, disappointment, political strife, loss, bad news, fear, and a never ending list of personal and public problems, with no indication of an answer. [But let me insert a mini sermon in here, Jesus – He is THE answer, still, today, right now! He has not changed. God’s power is no less than it was when He created the world with a spoken word, or raised Jesus from the dead. He is still our God. He still is redeeming and resurrecting. Nothing happens out of His control – He is worthy of our trust and obedience. Let’s look up! AMEN!]
We’re surrounded – surrounded with all this pressure, heaviness, and lack of control. It’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming. It’s affecting how we live. Fear and decision fatigue weigh heavy each night as we close our eyes to sleep, and we wake the next morning even less rested than the night before. A constant barrage of bad news takes away our capacity for resiliency and we find ourselves less patient, loving, and kind when we’re at home with roommates, family, or even ourselves. Darkness has wound its sinister tendrils around our hope and joy seeking only to destroy.
Sister, let me remind you that hope and joy are our birthright as daughters of the King; the very things that Jesus came to bring as He tells us in John 10:10, when He said..He has come to give life, and life abundantly. And those heavy things we feel surrounded with, Jesus also said that those are the things the enemy came to bring – he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. If the weight of all this stealing, and killing, and destroying – whether inside or outside your home is becoming just too much, let me remind you of a story in 2 Kings 6:8-23.
Let me briefly paint the picture. Israel was at war, again. The prophet Elisha was given insider information from God about how to protect the Israelite army and the king of Aram (the opposing side) was NOT happy about it. So the King of Aram came for Elisha. 2 Kings 6:14 says, “He (King of Aram) sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.” Elisha’s helper got up early the following morning, looked out the window and was shocked to see an overwhelming force of chariots, horses, and warriors surrounding them. Can you imagine the absolute fear and helplessness? He ran back to tell Elisha and in a panic asked, What will we do now? (2 Kings 6:15). They were surrounded – completely and utterly.
Elisha answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:16-17). What the servant saw at first glance was only destruction and defeat. But when the servant’s eyes were opened, God revealed He was there all along and that He had come to fight on behalf of His anointed one. When you read the rest of the story, you’ll find that God did a miracle that day with His angel armies as He came to the defense of Elisha and his servant.
This story serves as a reminder of two poignant truths for us as daughters of the King. First, there are always battles being fought and won in the unseen on our behalf. Oh that God would open our eyes. Oh that our faith would rise. What difference could it make if we had a greater awareness of His presence and might? What could change if we truly believed that our pain and suffering does not escape God’s notice and that there is never a moment He is not standing at our defense?
And second, while the pain and suffering we experience on this side of heaven are very real (and even predicted in John 16:33), did you know God also describes a number of promises that surround as we face each trying hardship?
A quick word search of “surround” in the Bible unearthed promises that have become prayers over my physical, emotional, and spiritual body in this season. So when the fear is too much, when the sadness is too deep, when the anxiety or depression are too heavy, and when the joy is gone – these promises are for you.
We are surrounded with:
*Favor like a Shield (Psalm 5:12)
*Songs of Deliverance (Psalm 32:7)
*The Angel of the Lord (Psalm 34:7)
*Salvation like City Walls (Isaiah 60:8)
*Lovingkindness (Psalm 32:10)
*A Great Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1)
*The Lord, Himself (Psalm 125:2)
Sisters, while the darkness will inevitably come, and at times, you may feel utterly surrounded – so take heart as you remember that God is always at work and that our darkness is surrounded by HIM!