In this world you will have trouble.

A little personal commentary and then some personal reflection :

I just finished watching a great movie about Abraham Lincoln’s body guard and friend and their story during his ascension to the presidency and all throughout the Civil War.  I was richly encouraged to see Abraham’s real faith during this movie.  I didn’t get the impression he was a man of great faith, however, the movie highlighted his “real” emotions, his many, many challenges and troubles both personally and in office.  He had so many critics, yet he chose to not fear conspiracy.  So many losses and casualties, yet he persevered in the “necessary war.”  Truth be told, Lincoln was God’s instrument to accomplish his purpose in freeing slaves and in reconstructing a divided and wounded country.  Lincoln’s life was attempted many times, but ironically, in many instances where he was almost killed, his life was spared.  Others died around him, but he did not. The movie concluded that Lincoln’s faithful friend and bodyguard was chosen by the Lord to protect him and that Lincoln’s life wasn’t taken until his appointed time.

I love Lincoln’s love for his wife, in sickness and in health.  I love his determination to win a worthwhile war.  I love his humility.  Lincoln had different advice from so many different people, all this advice came with tremendous pressure, yet Lincoln went with his own intuition, dare I say inspiration from the Lord. We are all broken people, even presidents and we need a powerful, perfect God to continually come to our aide.  God does not cower at the depth of neediness of His children.  He is able to fulfill our every need.  This is why He chose to reveal a new name he had to Moses.  He told Moses that He was revealing a new name to him, The Lord.  Yahweh.  It is a very reverent Name and it means The Great I Am.  Before this time, He revealed Himself as the Almighty God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Now, Yaweh,  I love how God continually reveals more and more of Himself to us throughout our ever constant changing lives.  He is a relational God completely able to relate with us and to help us.  Our circumstances are constantly in flux so that we can learn to rest on an unchanging God.

My bible study leader shared some age-old wisdom to me last Tuesday that rung true to my ears from an old neighbor-friend, a Chaplain’s wife…we were very close and I was so grateful for our friendship in the desert in CA, she wrote to me one day after I received a somewhat disturbing phone call about Hannah’s white blood count after a recent sick doctor’s visit, telling me Hannah had lymphoma.  I waited on the phone for the call back to confirm while I cleaned the house.  My little girl, Hannah was 18 months.  I knew in my gut, it had to be wrong.  But, I wondered, “why Lord, does each day bring me so much trouble and anxiety?”  Not too long after, my neighbor wrote me, typing I am certain, the words of Jesus through her writer’s hands…Dawn, “in this world you will have trouble.”  She prefaced it with saying, “I know you are not going to like this!”  I didn’t, but at the same time, it is comforting to know that although we will have many trials and tribulations in this world, that Jesus Christ is with us and He is a Conqueror!!!  He will overcome.  I prayed and received confirmation after going in for an MRI and an overnight stay in the hospital with Hannah, that it indeed was not lymphoma.

Lately, this story is coming back to my mind as my bible study leader told me these same words of Jesus last Tuesday in our personal time of sharing.  I told her they rung true in my head.  Although God has blessed us with amazing, loving neighbors that I am truly thankful for, I have a situation with my neighbors down below us that is testing every fiber of patience that I have.  And lately, I felt desperate for a change.  Have you ever felt that way?  I cannot escape this problem.  Our one neighbor complains of every single noise we make in our home.  Even with great effort to stay as quiet as mouses all the time, the neighbors complain frequently and put forth false accusations against us, even while they make plenty of noise that I choose not to report.  Along with the complaints, come a broom pounding on our floor every time we make noise.  I was told by our last neighbor in Kansas, where we lived in a duplex, that we were the quietest neighbors she had ever had.  How can things be so different here?  I suppose it is the creaky floor, but even so, I feel as if I live on pins and needles in my home.  The kids are giving their best effort to keep quiet and I am proud of them.  I try to care about the people below me who I know are not the nicest people, and I attempt to honor God in my effort, but the complaints still come.  I am thankful for an office management who is advocating for me.  I am thankful God sees, He hears, He knows.  I am praying that God deliver us from this trouble as it has been going on for months now.  I feel as if I cannot have the kids often in their home and keep them out and about most of the time.  I long for a stand alone home to live in where we can live normal lives and where my kids can be kids.  If nothing else, they are learning to be quiet in the home.  I tell them a gentle and quiet spirit is honored in God’s sight.

My question today: Do you ever feel as if you are trying to honor God, but no help is coming and you are continuing to suffer?  I believe in this situation, God wants me to continue to honor Him and to wait for His help.  I am praying this one neighbor changes or that God would move them on to another place!  I also pray for my heart to be patient and trust God.  Jesus sure did encounter a lot of opposition.  One thing I love about Him was that he knew how to fight battles and He always won whenever hearts were willing. And when hearts weren’t willing, He moved onto battles that could be won.  We cannot pursue those who don’t want to be won for Christ.  But God has a plan always and I trust in His plan.

As I pray for resolution and trust that God cares for me intimately and intricately, I feel peace already.  You see, I am naturally a fighter.  But, I am learning to be a prayer warrior and to surrender.  It goes against my DNA.  But, I am learning.  Perhaps this is a test.  I hope I can pass and see God’s deliverance 🙂


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