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Tag: miracle

Chiastic Structure Isn’t Just in Literature

Occasionally I run into truly amazing people. You know, the ones who just jump out at you as being above and beyond – a person who is truly like Christ. Often we accept as normal the disloyal, unkind behavior of those around us – whether Christian or not. We excuse it as, “Well, they’re having a hard day,” or “You just need to ignore her, she’s always been like that.” While I do believe we need to cut people slack and be forgiving in difficult situations, I think we have turned into a mamby pamby type of Christianity where we can’t tell a difference between the Christian and someone who is lost.

This past 7 weeks has been extremely hard for our family. We’re encountering the same type of attacks on our family from Satan that we’ve seen before. It’s been a no-holds barred type of attack on our children. The other time we experienced the same type of length and intensity was just a few years ago. It was so bad for our family that we ended up leaving the ministry. Of course we’ll not let him win, for we fully intend to re-enter the ministry in the future – after we’ve recovered, but I also know that Satan is alive and well and doing his best to damage families whom he feels is a threat to his agenda. Though he’ll never win the war, he’s doing a pretty good job at trumping the Christians in his little skirmishes. Of course it doesn’t feel like little skirmishes to the Christians who are in the midst of them, but to God they are little and of no consequence because He can take them and turn them over – for His glory and our good. This time I am seeing the attacks differently because I know his agenda from my prior experiences. Apparently he’s extremely threatened by our family and wishes to “take us out.” But I know God is greater than him and will work all this out and give us victory just like he did Daniel, Joseph, Moses, and all the other Bible heroes set up as examples for us. I have learned amazing things about myself and others these past 7 weeks that I would never have learned any other way. I learned more about God and have seen the true worth of many around me – and found some true abiding in the faith believers that I didn’t know were there. It’s been a truly amazing experience – amazingly painful and amazingly enlightening.

I’ve been studying Esther in my ladies’ Bible study (Beth Moore) and have found myself to be living her story. I’m expecting God to do something great through our family – even in the midst of extreme pain and trial where I can’t see Him doing anything miraculous outwardly, but I am seeing miraculous things being done by his people on our behalf. It’s like the chiastic structure that we see in literature. Chiastic structure is a literary term for inverted parallelism. Here’s an example: We don’t live to eat, we eat to live. You take the Greek letter “chi” and it’s an “X.” Put the word live at the left top of the “”X and eat at the right top of the “X.” We should not live to eat, rather, we eat to live. Put the word eat at the bottom left of the “X” and the word live at the bottom right of the “X.” There you have a mirror image (the bottom of the X) only inverted (or switched). The statement “we live to eat” is not a proper statement – we should only have the attitude of “we eat to live.” That is chiastic structure. Here’s another one: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” ~ John F. Kennedy. You take that statement and invert it (inverted parallelism) and it becomes a noble statement rather than a selfish one. Esther is riddled with chiastic structure. God used the greed, pride and corrupted beliefs of a vile man and turned them around to do His will – But he didn’t just wave His hand and make it so, He chose simple, inexperienced believers to save his people – people who love Him enough to risk their own lives to help others.

That is what I am asking God to do for our family. I am asking Him to take our circumstances brought on by sin and to reverse them to bring Him glory and my family’s good. He can do it. He did it for Esther and He will do it for me. I have a Haman and a King, along with a Mordecai and Esther in my story – and God will work through them all to bring us victory. I even have a Hatach! I need a peripety – a sudden change of events that reverse the expected or intended outcome. God is a great God and can take any situation and change it around. He did it for us Wednesday of this week already. We found two men, Jimmie and Jeff, men who we never met before, to bring us our needed peripety (sudden change of events) for one of our sons. These are true men of God. They heard our cry and met our needs – sight unseen. They didn’t know us, but they knew God and that was all that mattered. They are true Christians who let God work a miracle through them. They went out of their way and helped another believer. Wow. That’s pretty amazing. The impact of God’s love freely received by a believer can change another person’s life. I know it has mine.

So, now I’m lookin’ for another miracle because my family needs one. I just don’t know by whom or how it will happen. All I need to do is live my faith and God will take care of the rest.

My Awesome Unseen God

This spiritual journey that God has sent me on isn’t like all the others. In the past, He’d been gracious enough to just give me one major crisis at a time. When looking back through the past 25 or so years, I can distinctly remember thinking that I was grateful that God allowed one serious trial to stop before another came. Because we had adopted many special needs children, we lived from crisis to crisis all those years. It’s only been the last six months that that has lessened and we’ve actually enjoyed several months in a row without incident – until recently.

From Scripture, I know that God never gives us more than we can handle – part of the reason for this is that He knows our spiritual state and can gauge our ability to handle things, and part of it has to do with His ability to sustain us as believers. So, based on that, I know that He must think I can handle more than I have in the past – and apparently all at once. Added in is the agony I feel when I see my husband go through the trials too. Usually one of us is “up” when the other is “down.” It’s as if God is stripping us of all we have in order to rebuild us into something better. Having the book of Job and Esther has helped me endure. I’m sure Job, just like me, feared going to his door each time bad news knocked.  You get to the point where you say, “OK, what else can go wrong?” Well, we’re to that point. Daily we get news that stirs the pot of discouragement more. We step to the right think we got an answer only for it to change the next day. So we step to the the left and knock on another door to no avail. There’s got to be a window somewhere that God can open! I just know it!

I know that we shouldn’t get too discouraged when things don’t go right, it just means that God either has another path for us to take or the timing isn’t right. Maybe God has some things to put in place before we accomplish what we set out to do. Like the book of Esther, we can’t seem to find God anywhere. We don’t see Him stepping in and managing things like we normally do. That’s not to say He’s not there, for we know He is. But it just means He’s stepped back and watching things play out. This is definitely not a parting of the Red Sea event. It’s more like in the book of Esther where He guides and directs us to accomplish His will. There is a lot of responsibility to do so on our part. We need to make sure our faith and ability to hear Him are up to par. We need to listen to that still small voice directing us as if we were His puppet. In this instance, we need to be like His puppet, we must allow Him to completely work the strings to our hands, feet and mouth. It’s not easy for us to put ourselves in that position – we do tend to want to do things with our own abilities and wisdom. But especially when the stakes are high, like they are now, we need to be completely turned over the the Spirit’s leading. Sometimes I feel like I’m wandering around in the dark. I know God is there but can’t see how it’s going to work out for His glory and our best.

Yet, even wondering how it will all work out, I have to trust Him. What other choice do I have? So, I sit here wondering what’s next and how I’m going to handle one more rock in the road. A long time ago I realized I care way more deeply about situations and events than most people and I am much more proactive than the average person. I’m a fixer. If I have nothing to fix, I am very content to just enjoy life. But if there’s something that needs fixing, I’m very impatient with other people and expect them to diligently follow things through to the end. It is very frustrating for me to have my future or my family’s future in someone else’s hands. I can’t fix them, but God can. I just need to be content to let God handle it – He does it so much better than I do!

Here’s the moral to the story that has not finished playing out in my life. No matter what others do, God will always manage my life for His own glory and my good if I follow Him and trust Him to direct my ways. I may not see Him or feel Him in the midst of trial, but I know He’s there. Some day I will be able to look back and tell you how God worked it all out, but for the moment, I have to just sit and wait and realize He is able. Perhaps I might even be able to do that patiently.

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