In any case, my understanding of this opinion was that those who are claiming to defend religious freedom are actually attacking our religious freedom. That night, I began to be afraid. Our country, this country called the United States, is anything but united anymore. We have divided ourselves between liberals and conservatives, ethnicities, Democrats, Republicans and multiple other distinctions. Slowly and methodically our freedoms and rights are being attacked and chipped away, and it seems nothing will be able to stop this. Those who call themselves our leaders are really only interested in what's in it for them, rather than the good of the country and the people. We are not a dictatorship yet, but how long will it be before that happens?
And then my mind took a darker turn. I love the "what if" question, but sometimes it can become a harbinger of fear.
"What if I am brainwashed and deny my Lord?"
"What if they (whoever 'they' are) take my Bible from me?"
And many other crazy fears came encroaching on me as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep. Suddenly I realized I had a choice here and was able to fight the enemy that seemed so intent on keeping me from sleeping in absolute trust in the Lord. I began to go through some of the Bible verses that are among the daily verses I read.
"The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, 'Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe.'" Isaiah 8:11-14
"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Soon I fell asleep.
It seems like each time I have need of encouragement, somehow the Lord provides exactly what I need through His Word. Today, I was contemplating what it means to me that Jesus died. I actual wept for the cruelty He endured for me, because I deserved to be there. I can pretty accurately guess where the path I'd chosen for my life was going to lead me if the Lord hadn't rescued me. Many of you may defend me against myself, but I know. I'd either be
Addicted to drugs
A woman with five kids from five different men
Or something worse than all of those
I have much to be grateful to God for. As I wept, even while knowing Jesus rose again, I read the verse for today, "Do not be afraid…be glad now and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things." Joel 2:21
Oh the joy I feel when I read exactly what I need at exactly the time I need it!
I recognize that not everyone uses the Bible as an authority, but I am writing from my perspective and my perspective basis my belief on the inerrant Word of God, the Bible. I ask no pardon.
As I contemplate the darkness that is looming above us, I know that the Lord has all things in His hands, whether our perspective sees it or not. It's sort of like Chaos Theory. We think we see chaos in our world around us, but as we look deeper, we see there is actually a very intricate order that we cannot comprehend.
So, as Psalm 46:1-3 tells me, I will not fear, because God is my refuge and strength, He is always ready to help me in times of trouble. So, I will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. I will not fear even if the oceans roar and foam and the mountains tremble as the waters surge. I know my God is the one who will keep me safe. Thank you, Lord.