5:09. The glaring numbers on my phone barely registered in my bleary mind. I rolled over, unhappy at the thought of leaving my sleepy cocoon. Sighing, I crawled out of bed. The sky had this strange grayish-blue tinge to it. I wondered if some rain was on its way to offer reprieve from this awful heat. Everything was just so quiet. If I was as late as I thought, why hadn’t **Uncle SLF started his preparations as yet? Happy to one up him on the bathroom flow (after yesterday’s debacle) I stepped into the shower.
By 5:22, freshly showered and feeling slightly cool, I re-checked the phone. For a moment I stood in shock.” Nooooo!!!!” I grabbed the bloody talking clock and checked that too. Feeling flabbergasted, I listened to the sardonic commentary of my subconscious as she laughed at me. The time had finally registered on me. Somehow, even though I saw the 5, my mind had tricked me into believing that it was really after six. With resentment my sardonic self and I glared at each other, her amusement clearly written all over her face. “Looks like feeling happy has you completely befuddled kiddo. You must have been pretty far under the cloud, since you’re even thinking of Sugar Clouds now.” I rolled my eyes at her smirking face.
By 5:40, I was lotioned and dressed. I had no clue what to do with myself. Even uncle SLF was still sound asleep. Then it hit me, when last did I do anything unhurriedly in the morning? I smiled contentedly and proceeded to pack my lunch and breakfast leisurely. I considered making myself a cup of tea, just to sit and enjoy the chirping birds. Unfortunately, it’s way too hot for tea. So, I did something I haven’t done in a really long time. I sat on my bed, and grabbed my Bible Study Guide. This week’s lesson looks at King Hezekiah and the battle against Sennacherib-the Assyrian King.
King Sennacherib had the people of Judah under heavy siege. He’d been winning battles against everyone around the area. In fact, winning battles was a family trade. His dad and his dad before him, and so on had been conquering surrounding nations for generations. Instead, of being afraid of him, King Hezekiah had the citizens of Judah repair the broken city walls, fix the towers, and block off the springs that led in and out of the city. He made and stocked up on weapons, and then he laid out a pretty interesting speech before his people.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him. For there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and fight our battles.” 2 Chronicles 32: 7,8
For those of you who don’t indulge in stories of war or read the Bible, think of it this way. You remember those times you had to hide from a bully, or from some punishment you just knew your parents/guardians were gonna lay on you? In the case of the bully, who’s probably beaten up like 20 kids before you, let’s say you grabbed all the rocks and sticks you could find. You hide them in your bag, in your shoes, in your pockets, in your desk, around the expected “battleground”. In your mind you keep telling yourself, “Hey, if anything goes wrong, if this shizzle gets too real, there’s one person who’s got your back.”
If it’s the big blow-up with your parents, you get home early, stock up on food, and prepare your room. You call round to your friends. Then you call your favourite relative to ease things over for you. You pull yourself together, and although you’re a little shaky, you think, “Atleast aunty A/ uncle B is gonna defend me.”
If you can’t relate to that, think X-box vibes. You’re in Gears of War and the Locusts have you surrounded. Or you’re in C.O.D. MW3 and the Russians ambush your team. You’ve got enough ammo, but your teammates have never battled a force like this. Bombs are aimed at you. Rocket launchers are waiting. Or You’re in C.O.D. World at War, playing Zombie mode. You’re trying to fix the walls and windows while keeping some really hungry zombies at bay.
By now, you should get the point. The people of Judah were completely outnumbered and surrounded by a group of tough, wiry, burly warriors who didn’t give a bum about those in the city. They just wanted another victory under their caps, well helmets. The Assyrian King was so certain of the victory, that he mocked the citizens’ confidence and preparations. His speech was longer than King Hezekiah’s so I’m going to spare you the details. Needless to say, the Judaeans made their phone call to the higher power pretty quickly, and He answered loud and clear. The Assyrians were annihilated. God sent an angel to rid his people of those terrifying Assyrians. (Yes, it is like getting to call in an artillery strike, or one of those amazing aircrafts in C.O.D. MW3). Then after losing the battle, King Sennacherib headed home feeling ashamed and lame. There he was killed by some of his sons.
A gory story to say the least, but it hit home the point for me. Something that I’ve been understanding this week. I have literally been waking up with pain each morning, not in my mind, but the kind of heartache that spreads through you till you can feel it actually hurting you physically. I talk to God, not as often as I should, but I talk to Him. The problem is, I don’t think I talk with Him. I trust Him yes, but while I let Him work, there’s still a constant desire to remain in control. Reading Sara’s post on Self-Harm- An Emergency Exit made me realise that while I may not hurt my physical body, I torture my psychological one. In trying to control everything I feel and how I perceive myself, it hasn’t been about making myself feel better, it’s been about magnifying pain to balance out the shame and guilt I suppress. (See ‘Pain’ )This isn’t an entirely new discovery for me, but this is the first time I’ve seen how it affects my relationship with God and with people. After I unloaded a ton of crap on Adurna the other night, I realised that some issues I thought I had dealt with were still hosting a dance-a-ton on their open grave. Self-doubt, insecurities, lack of faith, inabilities to surrender and be vulnerable will always lay siege to my life. Those aren’t things that I can control. Trying to control them on my own won’t work. So I’ve got to send out that call for the heavy- duty artillery. I have to look to Him for the deliverance. Seeing those punch lines and the “other eyes” section of my quarterly have pounded that in. Seeing the title of this quarter’s Youth Sabbath School Bible Study Guide has impacted me just as much as the reading. It’s called “Unrequited Love”. I don’t think I’ve been returning the agape love God has poured on me, so the title suits.
Punch Lines- pp 47 (Cornerstone Connections, Youth Sabbath School Study Guide, 2nd Quarter)
“I lift up mine eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” -Psalm 121: 1,2 NIV
“Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you”- Deuteronomy 3:22 NIV
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” -Psalm 20: 7
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” – 2 Chronicles 20: 15 NIV
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?- Romans 8:31 NIV
“Other Eyes” -pp 47 (Cornerstone Connections, Youth Sabbath School Study Guide, 2nd Quarter)
“Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century U.S. poet, lecturer, essayist.
“We gain strength, courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…. We must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, 20th-cemturyU.S. humanitarian, United Nations diplomat, First Lady.
I’m not sure how long this epiphany will last, but it certainly has been a reprieve from the barrage of wounds I self-inflict. Who knew being off-kilter from peace could be this useful? Boy does it feel good to wake up without pain in the morning!
**not the uncle
C.O.D-Call of Duty
MW3-Modern Warfare 3
Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron
June 22, 2012