April 2018
Simple Times

In the Water, the Lions’ Den or Doing Battle?

 

Although Peter denied knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed on one of those final mornings, Peter did not lose his faith and helped establish the early church.

Are you sinking in the water or back in the boat today?

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked that question since my December 2017 article, "I’m Out of the Boat."

Some folks laugh as they ask.

Others are entirely serious as they know some of the details of our spiritual struggles during the past few months.

When we studied 1 Peter at our church and reviewed the Matthew 14:22-34 recounting of how Peter saw Jesus walking toward them ON THE WATER and how Peter slipped from the boat and walked toward Him on the water, too ... we saw he only stayed on top while he kept his eyes on Jesus!

Oh, how I could identify with that – and evidently so could many of you because that has been one of the most commented-on articles I’ve ever written!

I’ve analyzed, questioned and tried to figure things out for myself … and I started sinking just as Peter did!

I forget too quickly how God continually stands by me through all my storms and I have only to look to Him!

In our study – and in my life – I’ve learned "true believers KNOW WHO to turn to when we sink."

As we’ve continued on our journey, we’ve turned to Jesus and found out amazing things.

I’ve read through the Bible several times through the years, either straight through or in one of those plans where you read some in the Old Testament, the New Testament and a Psalm or Proverb every day.

But it’s amazing then to read over a verse or verses and suddenly realize what they are actually saying and talking about! Even after having read them over and over.

Just about every kid who has ever gone to Sunday school knows the stories about Daniel: how he survived the hungry lions’ den; how he ate only God-approved food, defying the king and still being healthy; and how his three friends came out of the fiery furnace – not even smelling like smoke!

But a couple of weeks ago I learned something about Daniel that made him as real to me as Peter AND showed me some things about spiritual warfare that are scary and encouraging at the same time.

Daniel prayed for three weeks seeking an answer to a heavy burden. He didn’t recite a memorized poem and get on with his life. Many times he was lying flat on the ground, begging for God’s answers.

We’ve prayed and many tears were shed as we waited. We’ve thrown ourselves at the Master’s feet.

While God has blessed us mightily, one answer still has not come.

An angel explained it all to Daniel. God heard his request on the very first day, but a mighty battle between demons and angels ensued. Only when the strongest angel prevailed was the good angel allowed to take the answer to Daniel.

I’m just a simple, gray-haired homesteader, as most of you know, and no great theologian, but I see Daniel’s faithfulness in prayer and God’s mercy linked together … and the answer came!

Just like the persistent widow in Luke 18 kept coming before the judge for an answer and relief from her problems, we have to keep praying – sometimes for a long time – before our battle has been won.

As I said, I’m no great theologian, but I see a great battle going on over our lives because the forces of evil in this world know that when God breaks through there is no stopping Him – or us!

We have to keep our spiritual armor on, polished up and strengthened by the Word of God all the time to withstand the fiery darts of Satan!

Folks, this isn’t just a fairy tale! Read the newspaper, look at Facebook, watch one of the cable news channels or just look at your own personal life!

I lost my mama, my mother-in-law, my husband, my brother-in-law and the beloved uncle who raised my husband, as well as another aunt and uncle, ALL DURING A SIX YEAR TIME SPAN! I’ve faced health issues, financial traumas, heartaches ....

I can show you where those demons chased me around and even put some pretty-big dents in my armor, BUT we’re still trusting God!

When you see me on the farm or shopping at the Co-op, or you can even send me an email, it’s all right to ask if I’m in the water, the boat or that fire with Daniel’s friends because this little, simple homesteader can tell you the only thing for certain in this life – God is still the answer!

 

Suzy Lowry Geno is a freelance writer living on a small homestead in Blount County. She can be reached through Facebook or her website at www.taitsgapstore.com.