the battle is raging

Today I am remembering to be kind. I am remembering that everyone is fighting hard battles that I know nothing about. But as I write this, I am acutely aware of the hard battles that I do know about because they are being fought by people I know and love, right now in real time. I feel overwhelmed as I consider their circumstances, what they face on a daily basis and how daunting are the prognoses that they have received. How valiantly we fight to hang onto this life we have been given. How valiantly those whose stories I know are fighting for their lives. We go to extraordinary means to hang onto this life given to us by our Creator.

If someone were to observe the NIC-Us in our hospitals they would see firsthand the miracles taking place every day as little souls are being saved with extraordinary medical care and intervention until they are strong enough to breathe on their own and swallow on their own, etc. Our culture protects the lives of these preemies with all the medical technology we have at our disposal. We also actively pursue life through Invitro and other fertility procedures available to those who long to be parents. A NIC-U is a place where we witness the courageous actively engaged in the battle for life.

I have friends who have adopted “snowflakes” or frozen embryos and there are many who wait long and fight many legal battles in order to adopt children of any age. All is a part of the battle for life. Which is why I find it curious that the same society that has NIC-Us full of heroes and heroines fighting for the lives of so many also has “clinics” (don’t know what to call them?) where countless lives are so carelessly and unceremoniously ended. It is a paradox I cannot reconcile.

The local news constantly talks about my city’s murder rate. Every day there are more murders to report. Gangs, cartels, criminals – seem intent on taking lives rather than protecting them. The larger question seems to be – “what value human life?” There are those I know, who are currently in the fight of their lives – they are fighting literally for their very lives. Chances are, dear readers, you too, know someone battling for their life at this very moment. I see the battle for life raging on all around me day after day – chemo treatments, surgeries, addiction recovery and rehabilitation programs, those with high risk pregnancies courageously fighting to carry them to term – all around me people are courageously fighting the battle for life. As I feel the weight of these multiple battles, I remember what Jesus had to say –

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

We fight bravely for our physical lives here on this earth so that they might continue. But I have to wonder, do we fight as courageously for our spiritual lives which will continue long after our physical battle is over? 2 Corinthians 4:18 makes this clear saying –

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Does this mean we are fighting the wrong battles? Are we fighting for the temporary while ignoring the eternal? Am I hanging on so tightly to the temporal that eternity is eluding my grasp? C. S. Lewis explains it this way –

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

There is a huge difference between a finite little mud puddle and the infinite ocean, unceasingly ebbing and flowing with the rising and falling of its every tide. Still, a child who has never seen such a sight cannot believe that something as vast as the ocean actually exists. It’s the same with me. My finite mind cannot grasp eternity nor what heaven is like. It is impossible. 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells me –

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

I have to trust my Heavenly Father on this. He said He’s making preparations for me to join Him when my time here is done. I have His word on that. Jesus said –

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

That promise is hope. It is this hope that sustains through all the battles raging around me at present in my life and in the lives of those I love. My temporal, physical battle will be lost at some point in this life. But my spiritual battle has already been won for me by Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection. In fact, Romans chapter eight says this about you and me, dear readers, regarding the battles we are fighting daily –

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us (you and me) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Today the battle continues raging all around me, but you and I are “more than conquerors” through Jesus Christ. It may not look like I am winning my battle. I may not feel like I am conquering what comes against me, be it hardship or hunger or illness or persecution – but God promises nothing will separate me from His love and therefore from Him.

As I watch my friends fighting their battles day after day with courage and perseverance, I pray for them God’s presence in their circumstances, knowing that God’s presence brings His peace and His hope into every battle we must fight. We fight well until our last breath, agreeing with Paul that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” I keep in mind these words –

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. . . . We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-8)

Still we fight the good fight, valuing the life God has given us here until we are released from this mud puddle into our eternal holiday at the sea, the infinite, glorious sea.

“I am confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14)

sincerely, Grace Day

2 thoughts on “the battle is raging

  1. Oh how I loved reading this post! We have surely been learning what it means to bear one another’s burdens. Your blog shows how you are carrying your load of those burdens and how God is changing and shaping you into his image as you do so. That last verse from psalms 27 vs. 13 and 14 strongly resonate with me as that is the verse God gave me years ago when my son’s addiction battle was in its early stages. It’s been almost 15 years and I still cling to that verse and try to be strong and try to take heart as I wait on my Lord for his perfect timing to restore my son. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank God that we wait upon Him with a hope that does not disappoint. His name, โ€œFaithful & Trueโ€ assures us that our confident hope is not in vain, even on the darkest, battle-weary days. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒŸ


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s