if i dropped my bible on the ground and it opened up, it would probably land on psalm 27. dried hydrangea flowers and some small yellow leaves line the spine where this psalm is. it is a place i prefer to frequent.
there is a secret this psalm leans in to whisper every time i read it-
notice the theme-
"when the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh...they stumbled and fell..."
"though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this i will be cofident."
"for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion..."
"and now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me."
the secret is this: you can't live your life to AVOID enemies. but you CAN live your life avoiding their tyranny (or rule- their power over you).
battles demand plans. enemies demand answers. the onlookers demand placating (these become more punishing than battles and enemies put together...what will my parents say...my friends...the people at work). we must "plan," then, to let God take care of it. not to work our escape by some contrived stratagem on our part, but to cast the lot of our survival with God.
this is an important distinction for me, because the human part of my mind assesses God's love for me based on my perceived opinion of how many struggles and enemies i have: the less struggle i encounter, the more favored i am by God. but God proves His love for us by saving us from and through and despite the very things we count as our enemies. they actually speak louder of the presence of His love than lack of struggle would.
jesus said, before His journey to conquer the enemy that is our death, "in the world you SHALL have tribulation, but be of GOOD CHEER, I have OVERCOME the world."
enemies are there. will always be there. i need to not let them surprise me anymore, and rather surprise THEM in their war against me, that i have already resigned my fate to the strong fortress of His hand. a life lived thus cannot be quenched or stopped- it's joy cannot be shamed. it's battle already won and decided.