Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, long before global warming was a twinkle in Mother Nature’s eye, snow fell abundantly in Evergreen Park, IL.  Utilizing the protection of snow forts constructed approximately 40 feet apart on our neighboring front lawns, my friend Cliff and I engaged in the Great Snowball Wars of the early 1960s.  With our snowball ammunition ready, the “battle” was on.  Although a strike was possible with a well-placed lob over the opposing fortress, a sneak attack could be quite effective, albeit leaving the attacker vulnerable to reprisal.

Fresh from his triumph over the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, Elijah certainly felt vulnerable under imminent threat of death from Queen Jezebel.  On the run and hiding in a cave, Elijah cried out to the Lord in 1 Kings 19:10- “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty . . . I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”  Elijah’s lament becomes ours- “I dedicated my life to serving You, and look what happened to me!”  When adversity pummels us, we need to restore our spiritual equilibrium.  Like Elijah, we may not experience the Lord’s presence where we might expect, but in a gentle whisper.

As we abide in God’s presence, Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts) encourages us to understand and affirm that the secret to finding joy is finding God where we doubt that He is.  That resolve is strengthened as, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we refocus our identity in Christ as we die to self, emptying so that our hearts may be filled with Christ’s love and grace.  As we journey toward healing and venture into uncharted and uncertain territory, God steadfastly remains our rock, fortress and strong tower.

We pray with the psalmist David: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shelter of your wings.”- Psalm 17:8

Once upon a time we were certain of our ministry.  All the time we are faithful to God’s calling.



About the author

Dave Henning

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