In the Combat Zone

Chaos is all around, and we all feel it: the pandemic, politics, injured relationships. It helps me to remember that, unique as it is, this is not the only time I’ve experienced such pressures. In fact, my list could go on and on! That is what life is like in this broken world, especially when we have “taken up our cross” to follow Jesus.

When the battle is raging, the one sure place of refuge is to run to is Jesus. His three years of earthly ministry were filled with challenges and lots of unkind pushback from those who should have known better. He even said that, if everyone is pleased with you, something is wrong (see Luke 6.26). That is comforting. But we are also faced with this counsel: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.” (Rom. 12:18 NET)  This is part of the struggle. What I’m learning is how important it is to stay close to the Lord, growing in my knowledge of him. This is my way to receiving the benediction of peace that I need. Peter wrote this blessing to people of faith: “May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!” (2 Pet. 1:2 NET).

During a daunting time period when I was still serving as a missionary in Côte d’Ivoire, I wrote this lament. I’ve discovered that writing out my sorrows to the Lord this way brings healing, and there are many illustrations of this in the Psalms. The key element is remembering where our hope is found!

Psalm in the Combat Zone

The battle rages all around:

     literal gunshots

     fired by hunters

     chained to the occult –

     symbol of all

     the spiritual combat

     in this place.

Shots are fired that pierce the soul:

     harsh words that cut,

     put-downs, silence

     when support should come –

     the people on our “teams”

     are also broken

     chained to weaknesses.

But you, Lord of lords, Chief of chiefs,

     you are our one

     perfect leader,

     unchained, in charge –

     compassionate, wise,

     completely good,

     reliable in every situation.

You have our backs:

     you tell us who we are,

     speaking truth

     when the Enemy shouts lies –

     he says we have failed,

     pointing out issues,

     determined to kill.

But you in your great love

     have chosen us,

     paid the high cost

     to make us yours –

     so you are here,

     shielding, on guard

     in this combat zone.

Open our eyes to this truth:

     show us evidence

     that we can see,

     and love we can feel –

     because you are invisible

     and our faith trembles,

     longing for you!

Published by Linnea Boese

After spending most of my life in Africa, as the child of missionaries then in missions with my husband, I am now retired and free to use my time to write! I am working on publishing poetry and on writing an autobiography. There have been many adventures, challenges and wonderful blessings along the way -- lots to share!

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