Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's not what you see...

I have no doubt there are a million things God can teach me from the Book of Revelation...and perhaps a million from today's reading about the two witnesses . But one of the "lessons" that I walk away that it ain't over until it's over. We see in this excerpt from the last looks as though Evil has won...and by all appearances they had. These brave, powerful servants of God (the two witnesses) were defeated by the Satan...and beaten publicly....seemingly convincingly. Then as if that wasn't enough to shrink the hope of believers....the Evil ones gloated...for three days.
Now if I am a believer in that time...if I am on the side of Good...I have to be feeling defeated...hopeless. The whole world literally seems to be falling apart before our eyes. We've been living through the Great Tribulation...Evil seems to be unstoppable. Pain after pain, injury after injury, loss after loss...and then...finally...two Champions emerge.

These two witnesses...these two servants of God have power that surpasses anything the evil ones can muster. And so we breathe a sigh of relief and allow ourselves to think...finally...our heroes...finally....Good....finally we will win. But then...then the unthinkable happens. Satan mounts an attack...and he defeats these Champions of Good. He strikes them down...and not only gloats...but displays their beaten bodies for the whole world to see. They even celebrate...and give gifts! How could anyone not start to ask...why did God send us these Champions only to have them defeated? I mean how much worse could things appear. We've suffered loss upon loss....defeat upon defeat...all appears dark. And even though we believe...and even though in our minds we know we can trust God, even though we have heard the stories of His great miracles, and even though we have seen miraculous things in our own lives...this...this seems almost too much. Our hope hangs by a thread. It stands at the precipice of Doubt. Heck, we may even be angry with God. Why is He not protecting us? Why is He letting us suffer like this? Why doesn't He just end this? Even if we still believe God wins eventually...we might still be bitter about the now...and our Faith in the moment might still waiver. Sure...eventually God ultimately wins....but however you look at it...our Faith would be least I fear mine would be.
But then...just when we felt the last bit of Hope starting to slip away...God moves...and He moves Big. He responds so beyond our expectations. Our dead Champions...He raises them. He brings them back to life. We knew He could do it...but we never believed He actually would. Satan didn't defeat God's matter what it looked like. He didn't win. It was all part of God's plan. Satan was never in control...despite how it looked. The victory....our victory...God's victory was never in doubt. Not only did God have the ultimate victory...but He had the victory in that moment. We couldn't see it...but it was there. And that victory...that battle...strengthened endure the next. God will not abandon us...He will not forsake us. God is Faithful...God is True...and we are His children. I am His child. And I can any situation. Sometimes...actually is not what we see...but Who we see. Father, help me to keep my eyes on You!

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