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Monday, March 28, 2011

Tear Down These Walls

"I'm not scared of anything!" Junior gave a shout. Then he pulled the covers high to keep the monsters out!

But there, in the all the shadows, in the corner by the chair, was something that had three long ears and tufts of shaggy hair. 

Over on the bookshelf, behind his favorite book, six or seven beady eyes peeked out to take a look. Then outside the window, hiding in the tree- was that a woolly mammoth bat? No, it couldn't be.

Everything he looked at, and all that he could hear got scarier and scarier. His knees soon knocked with fear.

God will take care of me. Veggie Tales Junior couldn't go to sleep. His eyes were open wide. Then he remembered something that made him smile inside. Junior said, "I'm not afraid of things, though big or small. God says He will take care of me. He's bigger than them all!" --BigIdea's VeggieTales

These past couple of weeks God has been showing me just how big and strong He really is. I wish I could say I never needed the reminder, but each and every day I'm held accountable to my humanness. Every day I see my weakness and my tendency toward fear and worry.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post In My Darkest Hour which was the beginning of my journey with the new car we purchased. Since then, we have been through many ups and downs. The car has been to the mechanic 3 times, and the problem has not yet been completely solved. In fact, it's actually escalated.

To start off we were having trouble shifting gears, and thought it might be our transmission. Since then we had found the source of the problem to be an air intake sensor. This was causing the fuel to be too rich which in turn caused the engine to give misinformation to the transmission, which made the gears shift at the incorrect time. Its amazing how one thing can lead to another and pretty soon your car just doesn't work quite right. The problem was easily solved and taken care of by a $150 bill.
The most troublesome and somewhat disturbing part was how the dealership fit into all this. You would think they might have caught this issue and fixed it themselves. $150 to a dealership is probably nothing when it comes to making a good sale. However ... instead they sold us the car pretending it was in perfect working condition. I don't know anything about cars, but I knew as soon as I drove away and tried to get up to speed that something wasn't quite right. They had to have known something was wrong with the car. The car's gas tank was completely empty so we couldn't leave the lot to test drive it; we were forced to stay close by, driving around in their field. We never had a chance to shift gears until the car was in our own possession.

As our car saga has continued on, the most saddening thing has come out. Our mechanic that finally was able to pinpoint the problem and get it fixed, informed us that after 25 years in the business, he's never seen anything like this. The dealer we purchased the car from actually disabled the check engine light on our car. It's not just that they took the light bulb out, it's actually disconnected somehow. That's very unethical and not to mention illegal.

You can imagine the emotions that I have gone through over the past week. On one hand the fact that they intentionally set out to deceive us just hurts, and then there's the anger that they could be so careless. What if we had an accident and someone in my family was hurt? Money is more important to them than the safety of a human life?

God has brought me through it all. I know that no matter what, He is in control. As I heard this news, I couldn't help but start to withdraw into myself, and fear began to creep up. It seemed like the more and more I thought about it, the more I was afraid. I was imagining the worst case scenarios and feeling overwhelmed. I tried to get a few moments of peace and quiet where I could just cry out to God, when Zech climbed up on my lap with his book, "I'm Not Scared!" Reading to him at that time was really the last thing that I felt like doing.

I made it through almost the entire book, with only two pages remaining when I couldn't stop the tears from falling. I read the line "Everything he looked at, and all that he could hear got scarier and scarier. His knees soon knocked with fear." I was Junior sitting in my chair paralyzed with my fear. I kept hearing new things, and new fears were taking over me. What was going to happen? And where was God?

Then just like Junior as I read the next page in the book, my tears turned to a smile. "I'm not afraid of things, though big or small. God says He will take care of me. He's bigger than them all!" God is so much bigger than a person who cheats or lies. Because no one can cheat or lie to God. He knows everything. And not only does He know everything, He takes care of it all. God is my protector. He can solve my problem that needs to be fixed.

As I went off to church that night, my mind was in a much better place. I knew that God was there. Every time when I'm in real trouble or hurting, God always seems to speak to me through music. It's a way to connect on a deep heartfelt level that I cannot even begin to explain. As we were singing the song Tear Down These Walls by Hillsong, God was continuing to work on my heart.

Tear down the walls see the world
Is there something we have missed?
Turn from ourselves
Look beyond
There is so much more than this

And I don't need to see it to believe it
I don't need to see it to believe it
Cause I can't shake this
Fire deep inside my heart

Look to the skies hope arise
See His majesty revealed
More than this life there is love
There is hope and this is real

Cause I don't need to see it to believe it
I don't need to see it to believe it
Cause I can't shake this fire burning
Deep inside my heart

This life is Yours and hope is rising
As Your glory floods our hearts
Let love tear down these walls
That all creation would
Come back to You
It's all for You

Your Name is glorious
Your love is changing us
Calling us
To worship in spirit and in truth
As all creation returns to You

Oh for all the sons and daughters
Who are walking in the darkness
You are calling us to lead them back to You
We will see Your spirit rising
As the lost come out of hiding
Every heart will see this hope we have in You

All day long I had felt a bitterness creeping in slowly. I wanted to be angry. I felt like I had this right; that I had been wronged greatly, and needed vindication. I was just hoping and praying that someone would ask how my day had gone so I could give them the 411 on how I'd been hurt, and deceived.

As I was singing the words to this song God was showing me the truth about what I was going through. I couldn't believe that the dealership would do that, when God just dropped these two words into my mind. Why not? What am I expecting from them? It was very obvious when we were signing the title to our car that the man was not a Christian. Three times he spelled my husband's name wrong, and after I told him it was like the book of the Bible, you would have thought by the sound he made or the look on his face he had never heard of a Bible before, let alone that it would even have books in it.

Why are we always so surprised when the world acts the way that they do? They are simply going with their sin nature. "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." Romans 3:23

We, who have committed our lives to Christ, should be held to a higher standard. But we cannot expect the world to do the same. They don't have a book that guides their life, and a God who they can go to in times of trouble. They have to look to themselves and figure things out.

How scary is that?

I am so grateful that I have the listening ear of a God who is big and strong; He has an answer for every problem. I wish I could say that I picked up on this quickly, and that God burned in it my heart, so that I would not forget what He was saying to me. But alas, I was slow. I wanted to post this a week ago, and something kept stopping me. I just couldn't bring myself to write it, or even think about it. I was still holding on to unforgiveness, and I needed a reminder of the words to this song; to actually tear down the walls I had allowed to grow.

Those walls you build may at the time seem to protect you, but they also can keep out the good. I spent a week feeling sorry for myself, and building up walls to keep everyone out, including God. I was mad. I allowed my circumstances to distract me from the purpose of my life.

It doesn't take much to take your eyes off of God. I kept my focus on my problem, and it became too much. It was only today after more tears and pain that I realized my walls need to break. I needed to stop looking to myself for answers like the world does. I needed to look beyond where God was and always is.

The only way to truly overcome is to maintain your FOCUS on God.

"Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed- that exhilarating finish in and with God- he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" Hebrews 12:2-3

For anyone who read my previous post, In My Darkest Hour, the song was playing on the radio as we pulled into the parking lot of the auto service center and learned this news about the check engine light being disabled. "When all around me starts to fall, and when my faith it seems so small, even in my darkest hour, I WILL BELIEVE." I know God was preparing me for the road that would lie ahead.

Liberty Truck Sales Mounds Oklahoma

The Rest of the Story:
The Light in Me
The End

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