Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sanctuary ~ Guest Blog


                                    “...Only He should be feared; only He should be held in awe ...
                                                 He will be a sanctuary....”
(Isaiah 8:13-14)

With two young sons and another on the way, my husband and I moved to a plateau area in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The boys' paternal grandparents were not happy about us living farther from them, but they were excited about the region's camping parks. Camping, fishing, and hunting had been their mainstay of family recreation.

At one point during our first exploration, the curving, narrow highway edged a high peak on one side and a seemingly bottomless crevasse on the other. "Son," my father-in-law said, "you could drop a child off the top here, and he would be grown before he hit the ground." We all laughed. But there is something formidable, something awe-striking, about a great mountain.

Some years ago, a financial challenge loomed before me like a Mt. Everest. How could this happen? Why now? How can we fix this? Wrestling with that how evolved into utter frustration. Then a gripping fear. The pain of thinking there would be no legacy for our children's children seemed unbearable. I started to live in looking backward. Placed the blame on someone else. Angry bitterness to set in.

But that was not where God would let me live. One morning as I sat with my writing tablet, I drew a picture of a mountain. Seems foolish now, but I think I was so caught in my unbelief, that I was trying to prove to God that this problem was just too big. Impossible. Inescapable.

With gracious kindness, my Father then allowed me to visualize my mountain placed in His hand. There it was almost too small to see. Suddenly my faith reignited. Was not the God who spoke the mountains into existence the same One who could speak to them to move? The mountain I needed removed wasn't my financial loss, it was my unbelief. As I gave myself into trust, He moved me into His sanctuary--His rest and peace.

You may have your own mountain: An estranged son or daughter. A difficult marriage. The aftermath from divorce. Financial loss. Health issues. A long-time friend turned enemy. A cherished dream looking dead end. A bleak-looking future. (Maybe you have a mountain range of problems.) Please remember that God doesn't want you to live in the sadness or the hopelessness. There is sanctuary--a helping, healing sanctuary--in your Father's presence, trusting in Him. Don't delay naming that mountain(s) and placing it in your Father's loving, powerful hand.

Father God, YOU ARE OUR SANCTUARY. Nothing in this life is bigger than Your love for us and Your power to help us. Thank You for Your ever-kind heart to hear us and to restore us to Your peace that passes understanding. ~ martha langley