By Robert Halsey Pine
“The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
One of the greatest feelings that a person can have is the gradual reversal of bad fortune. If we can just hold on when we are being attacked and tested. Have the faith that in spite of the negative pressure allows us to hang on. And, suddenly, when we think that a moment more will do us in, we experience reversal, recovery and even a boost up another notch from where we were.
Only a fool will try to control after he has exhausted all of his talents. There is a point in a time of challenge when we have done all that we can do. And, behold, God steps in and victory is in hand, right up to the last minute we exercise self-criticism. We doubt our own strength and valor, thinking we will be judged as cowardly and timid.
Then comes the surprise. We thought it might come. We were taken to our last ounce of faith. God loves this process because He knows all along how it will play out. He knows that we’ll wring ourselves out to the last drop of hope. He feels our joy before we feel it.
What a lovely view from God’s perspective. To see a faithful one stretch and stretch until the “snap” is near. And then the reward of keeping the faith. A smile from ear to ear over a fight well fought, a result that satisfies. God is the greatest parent. The most patient. The proudest. thanks be to God!
Father God, Protect me from myself, dear Lord. When I have lost hope, hold me up and encourage me to continue in Thy Faith and Fear. Prepare me to receive Your blessing that I have almost given up on. Are we there yet Father? How much longer Father? Amen.
Robert Halsey Pine is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the Un-iversity of the South.