We need each other.

The attack came out of nowhere – much like a ‘flash flood’, and yes, I was moved. I was moved.
But I look back,(to what seems like yesterday, and it was),and I can see, I was not ‘greatly moved'(Ps. 62:2), but I was moved, yes… for a time.

I was moved, in a very short amount of time, from singing a ‘new song’, (literally, music written just the day before, with an upbeat rhythm and words of affirmation of “Living in the Presence of my Lord!” To, a complete stillness of music and only a cry of despair! How can that be? Is it only me? Like a flood, instead of having thoughts of ‘stillness and peace’ and being busy about the day – everything changed in an instant, within hours. Anxiety was triggered, and anger entered in, then the thoughts came flying, disguised as truth, oh yes, very much TRUE, but not the TRUTH- the thoughts I was thinking were lies but I was believing every one of them!

I didn’t recognize the same old ‘lie’ that the enemy of God,(and the one that hates me),uses every time. Every time, for me- it’s the same, I’m just now recognizing that it’s the same every time – the word is “forever”. When thinking about God, this word is amazing! It brings peace, it brings hope, ‘forever’ brings joy. But this word, ‘forever’ when walking this earth, can bring chains to my feet and knocks the wind out of all life. “This is how’s it’s been, ‘forever’. This is how it will be ‘forever’. Nothing will ever change, this is all you have ‘forever!’

Immediately,like a one engine plane happily singing in the clouds, “Lalalalalalala, la…” to a sudden malfunctioning of the main controls which bring about an instant plummet toward the ground! I am just writing it like it is. If no one understands, that is wonderful, because I wouldn’t want anyone to have to identify to this!

Why do I write of failure? Why do I waste words to even draw the pictures of such things? I do believe, that in all my years of being a mama, my kids have learned more from my ‘missing the mark’ and later saying, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, will you forgive me” than from my strength and might. I believe that God wants me to write down what I have learned, because He cares, He loves, and He knows…

we need each other.

This has happened before, many a time. But you see, God’s word even says, “He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” But we so much, often times, need a friend – so God does just that, and the word even says, “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17), and that can mean ‘sister’ too.It can mean a mother, or a father or a neighbor or someone far, but there is someone God brings to remind us we’re not alone, because He is always with us, He’s always there, we just need to be reminded, you see.
And what made it worse,on this particular ‘trial’, was I was suffering grief, grief of loss,loss of all kinds. Loss for my family, but also loss of my friends, who suffered so much but kept their faith to the end. Have you lost someone very dear to your heart? Has someone gone home? Yes, we rejoice that their days are heavenly now, but there is loss, loss for us here, especially if they were ones we drew strength from, while they victoriously persevered. “Be still and know that I am God,”I can almost hear her soft voice say, even though she’s not around, she still encourages me, ‘forever’.

So, in this time of ‘panic’ and stress and unrest, God again was faithful and a ‘present help’ He sent. One of my sisters reminded me that He will never leave me nor forsake me, that His hand is ever near to hold me, and she began to pray. And God’s word and God’s truth brought back some of my breath. And God brought a sister to remind me of a powerful book, yes, Nehemiah who set out to ‘rebuild’ the wall that had long been torn and burned down. And she reminded me that there were enemies not happy about the work that was being done, and she wrote down a verse that she wanted me to read, so I did and it helped me incredibly much.“And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people,
“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”(Neh. 4:14). Then, it was my friend that reminded me as well, that as they built the wall, one hand held a brick to rebuild, and the other hand, a weapon.

But in conclusion of this accumulation of words, which is always too many I suppose, I have to write down something amazing that God did. He had me read that story in the Bible,and He showed me something in the quite ‘boring’ chapter of Nehemiah 3. Well,(in my paraphrase) it starts by recording that the high priest rose up with his brothers and built the Sheep Gate. First and foremost, the very name of the high priest is recorded and it mentions ‘his brothers’ and they built together the Sheep Gate. That Sheep Gate is Jesus, He is the one who is the ‘door’, and He Himself said, “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9). And what is crazy is, I turned to that verse in John and the very next verse God reminded me, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10). God’s word is the sword! “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty for the pulling down of strongholds,”(2 Corinthians 10:4).

And listen to this, back in that book of Nehemiah, “Next to so and so, was the son of so and so,and they made repairs, and next to him was the son of so and so…and next to them,and they made repairs…” Neh. 3, the whole chapter is filled with one message: God, He knows our name, yes we have enemies, but He put us ‘next to’ our brother’s and sisters, and this ‘wall’, this work of God, these prayers that will continue to be prayed, these songs that will be sung, the rejoicing in the Lord no matter what will continue!

We need God, we need each other.”And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.” (Neh. 4:15).Together, God’s work is completed, with a brick to build in one hand, and a weapon in the other!


Author: tonirypkema

Wife to 1, mother of 11, daughter of 1. "The most amazing woman in the world." -Jared (son)

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