The Father’s Answer
Posted on March 20, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life. Jesus listened. In John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus was moved with the deepest emotions (11:33)… The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn of reject feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action.
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. … For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. … Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He Who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. … What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 8
Oh beloved, it is true.
We truly do face dangers in this world. There are jobs that are way outside the norm. There are storms and earthquakes and political upheavals. There are viruses that can end us. And just some of the random things that can happen, make it a real possibility that we may leave our homes in the morning, and not return at night.
Truly, there is no need to be bound up in the fear of what might happen, but for us to deny the reality, is for us to be foolish. For us to not take simple precautions in our day, is to invite disaster.
But, some jobs are off the charts with danger.
There is a young man, who is deeply dear to my heart. He is my firstborn son. He is strong, and tall. He is funny and gentle. He has the bearing of a man 20+ years his elder. And, if you ever shook his hand, you would know that you are in the presence of a real man. This same son, is also a soldier.
Now, being a soldier does not instantly put one in danger. There are hundreds of positions in the US Army that are designed to support the efforts of those who are on – as it is often called – “the tip of the spear.”
At least for awhile in this soldier’s career, he is right out near the bright and gleaming edge of the force structure of the infantry. He is part of a pararescue team in the mountains of Afghanistan. His job on the Chinook CH-47 helicopters they ride, is to get men and equipment on and off that airship under what are sometimes incredibly dire circumstance.
Now, when he is not moving men and material, he is manning an automatic weapon on the back deck of their dual-rotor beasts. If you have never seen a picture of it, you may not get the ‘drama’ here. But, imagine sitting on the tailgate of a pickup, with your feet hanging over the edge. Except now, do that 5-10 thousand feet up in the air.
Yes, there is a safety lanyard that will keep you from falling to the ground, but it doesn’t tie you down. And, there is a reason for this. This position is designed to enable the gunner to lay down as much fire as possible on the widest field as possible. However, as you might guess, in combat, this is one very dangerous spot to be.
And, quite frankly, over the past couple of months, my sleep has been haunted by a fleeting glimpse of this soldier being dreadfully injured. It grabbed ahold of me, and robbed me of my sleep. I have seen death. I have smelled it. I have narrowly avoided it in the past. And, now I was “seeing” my son experiencing the worst.
Can we see it?
Over the last month or so, I was allowing these visions to fly through my mind. Some of this is healthy. When we face our fears, and allow them to pass through us, it is ourselves that remain afterwards. The shadow passes and life goes on. But, I had also bought into these fears, and was trying to just figure out how I was going to handle it, if the worst occured.
Something shifted this week, though. I have a photograph of this young man, flying over the mountains of Afghanistan, looking over his shoulder and giving a thumbs-up. He is geared up, visored, helmeted – and armed to the teeth. And, as I looked at that picture for the thousandth time, I cried out in my spirit: “Oh Father! Please bring him home safe.” I had actually been afraid to ask. Like maybe it was just too selfish to beg for the safety of a warrior who had chosen their path.
Then it happened. These are joyous moments in our walk with Him. They are touchstones that enable us to go on towards belief at a higher level. The Father answered me directly in my inner man. He said, “will I not give you all things? Will I not give to my children what they ask in my Son’s name? I know how you feel, Mak, I really do. Just ask.”
So I did. And His words back were trustworthy and true. He promised a good number of things in that prayer – and those are for me to ponder in my heart alone. But, suffice it to say that I will be embracing this warrior when he returns in a year or so. Wow, what a moment. Why do we ever doubt His goodness?
So, are you afraid to ask Him for something? Don’t be. He is the same everywhere and at all times. He is awaiting your request too. Speak it to Him and listen for the answer. He will answer!
Tonight is your night. Ask Him. Just ask.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love.
― Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. – Psalm 97:10