Last night, I told myself I was going to bed early. I shut down the computer around 10:00, and went upstairs, focused. As I laid down, I immediately started thinking. Thinking about nothing, thinking about everything, all at once. Thinking about relationships, goals, dreams, jokes, conversations, people in my life. All sorts of stuff. Before I knew it, it was 12:00. And I was still awake. Shortly after, I must have fallen asleep. At exactly 2:32 AM, I woke up, heart pounding.
Before I explain further, I usually pray for no dreams. I strongly dislike dreams. Many of mine have intertwined fear, loss, and death. I tend to pray for no dreams. I don’t remember praying last night. Well, it comes 2:30 AM. And I’m having a nightmare. It’s terrifying how real, how vivid, they are. How they arouse panic, uneasiness, fear, loneliness. And then you wake up. Heart pounding. Shaking. Looking around, as if they were to come true. Disgust of the human race. Fear of the unknown. So there I sat. Alone. In the dark. Thinking. Praying. Writing. Wishing I was young again. Wishing I could walk down the hall, knock on my parent’s door, tell them everything which had happened, let them reassure me it was just a dream, embrace me, and hold me until I fall asleep again. In the moment, I longed for someone. I longed for someone who could comfort me. I longed for someone who would hold me. I longed for someone who could say “it’ll be alright.” I longed for peace. More than anything, I wanted to forget. I wanted to forget it all. I refuse to type it. I refuse to write it. I want it out. I want it gone. I want it never to come up again.
And as I sat there, I realized I had something greater. I had someone who was there the whole time. I opened my journal and started writing. I wrote down my fears. My thoughts, my intentions, my desires. I poured it all out. And then, I found His word. I found His word to be comforting, to be enough, to be all I needed. Matthew 10:28:
“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.”
Sounds a little scary at first. Especially the last part. But slowly I realized this: He is the only one who is greater. He is greater than all my fears. He is greater than any bad dream we could ever have. He is greater than any evil. And because I trust in Him, it doesn’t matter if I die. I know if I believe Jesus took what I deserved by dying on the cross for my sin and believing in him is THE ONLY way to Heaven, I will be saved. But what if I wasn’t? In the moment, I had peace, knowing there was hope. But, I also felt an aspect of revival. What if those around me are searching for more? Would I be able to live with myself knowing I could have done better? Would I be at peace, realizing I did nothing to influence those around me?
Where I fail, where I am not enough, where I mess up, He covers. He covers me with grace. He covers me with love. He covers me with mercy, holding me, telling me “it’s okay, I still love you.” And in my darkest places, He is still there. He is always there. When I have joy, He is there, walking with me, smiling, probably laughing along. When I am filled with sorrow, He is there, holding me, mourning with me. He is greater. He is greater than my fears. He is greater than my expectations. He is greater than anything I could ever imagine. I am endlessly thankful. I deserve nothing. The very least I can do is devote myself into loving servanthood. To honor Him and bring Him glory.
Some of you know I recently filmed a video talking about my friend Haramman, from Trinidad. You can read about Haramman in Gratitude. Haramman changed my life. He changed my perspective. He taught me faith like a child. Haramman was something both me and God knew about, and I didn’t need to publicly proclaim my experience. This video is set to be shown to the church in a few weeks, and I am nervous. I’m nervous I will be affirmed. I’m nervous people’s focus will be off. They showed it to a few of the worship leaders, and I’ve already had two come to me, telling me they were in tears, awed by my words and experience. I’m honored, don’t get me wrong. It’s just, lately, I’ve been trying to do things alone with God. I can’t take credit for what He’s doing. Throughout the filming, I earnestly asked God what He wanted to say. And I can’t take credit for any of it. I can’t take credit for going on the trip, because it was generously funded by my friends and family. I can’t take credit for going to the hospital, because it was Dave’s idea. I can’t take credit for going to see Haramman, because it was Mauricio’s idea. I was in Trinidad because of God. I was at the hospital because of God. I got to see Haramman because of God’s perfect timing. So thank you, but no thank you. I’m perfectly happy remaining in the background, where no one knows who I am, where I am at peace, because I have no one to impress.
Tonight, there was a worship night with my church. God was definitely present. Towards the beginning, I felt called to pray for a girl standing a few feet away from me. As I moved over, I casually touched her shoulder and was like “hey okay, so this is weird and uncomfortable, and I don’t know you, but yay for Jesus, I need to pray for you.” After a few seconds of talking, she told me one of her friends had committed suicide a while ago, and it was still paining her. I embraced her, initially fearful I would stutter or say the wrong thing. Again, God prevailed. I don’t remember half of what I said, but by the end, we were both in tears. She said she hadn’t cried that much, that hard, since she had found out about the loss. She kept on saying “bless you” “thank you so much” “I’ve never met anyone like you” and so on. I kept on smiling and shaking my head, because it wasn’t me. I listened, but God spoke. He spoke through me what she needed to hear. I held her for ten minutes, and during those ten minutes, God opened my eyes, He intervened, and He prevailed.
The point here is God is good. The point is He is faithful. The point is we are not enough. The point is we will fall short, we will mess up, we will fail. Quite often. So when you are alone, when you have reached a pit, when you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone, He is faithful. He will prevail. He is greater than anything you think you need. And oh, how we need Him. Every hour. Without Him, we’d fall apart. Lord, we need you.
Ask Him to reveal Himself to you, knowing that you will have to seek Him too. Ask Him to show you His power. And go in peace, knowing the God of Angel Armies is always by your side.