I’ve been away from Rocky Top this last week. Been floating on the wide open sea in a ship named Getaway. I needed to get away…..from people, Alzheimer’s, critics and such. But once I got away I realized I needed to get away from me.
Right before I boarded the getaway boat, I went to see a movie, WAR ROOM. See all I wanted to get away from was battles I thought I was fighting. The battle of hoping others will accept me and like me; the battle of the disease that is slowly killing my mother and controlling much of my time; the battle of unsolicited negative opinions. Sounds pretty awful doesn’t it?
Yet, my life is so rich and full……full of a husband that loves me, children who love me and are contributing to society and actually loving Jesus, grandchildren, who are perfect (don’t argue this one); friends who know me and still love me, abundant opportunities to serve others, and a wonderful church family!
I do have an enemy that I do constant battle with…His name is Satan. BUT what I realized this week is that my biggest enemy is myself……my pride, my fear, my disobedience, my selfishness. My first strategy in battle was to confront ME……quit making excuses for the lack of prayer, the selfishness, and the lack of grace for everyone but me and mine.
So on the floor of the getaway boat; I spent time confessing and repenting. Then I stood up ready to see others through eyes…eyes of grace. I also stood up to realize that my encounter with Alzheimer’s could be an opportunity and not a curse. A very wise friend once told me that when God interrupted her life, she met people she never would have met, went places she never thought she would go and experienced things she never would have otherwise.
We think we want our life to be on a cruise ship……someone making our bed every day, making cute little animals with towels, cooking for us, spraying us with cool water when we are hot and bringing us a glass of lemon water every few hours. Cruise ship living is nice for a week or so and we all need a vacation but after five or so days of cruise ship living I’m ready for REAL life.
God created us and died for us so that we can glorify Him and increase His kingdom. He receives glory when we are in battle and have to rely on His strength to face difficult people and difficult circumstances.
Somehow in the American church we have come to believe that if we are on a cruise ship and all is well that we must be living our life right before God. Yet, according to God’s word we are most like Christ when we are suffering. Elisabeth Elliot’s definition of suffering is “having something you don’t want or wanting something you don’t have.”
Paul said “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings becoming like him in his death…” Philippians 3:10-11 This is not cruise ship living. This is War Room, Battleship living!! How exciting!
So with a repentant heart, a new perspective of the battles in front of me and a refreshed spirit, I left the Getaway ship to come home and live on Rocky Top, excited to fight the battles on my knees that He so graciously allows in my life so that I can experience Him in a new way,
And by the way…………THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME! Good ol’ Rocky Top!