Sometimes human love is muddy. The clear spring of love meets up with some dirt. That dirt could be sin or unhealed trauma. We may not know what kind of dirt it is or how it got in, but we sure know it’s there. What should be pure and sweet becomes difficult and heart-rending. Still love, just muddy.
In the first book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Merry, a hobbit, made a careless mistake. It was a costly one, beckoning an evil host who threatened not only his life, but the lives of his friends. He wanted to take it back. But it was too late.
That’s like enemy, tripping us up and then making us pay far more than we have.
Often our mistakes become defining moments in all the wrong ways. They mark us in a way we wish we could reverse. For me, it was an incident in college. I made a careless mistake. One that positioned me for a vicious attack. It cost me more than I could pay.
That’s the nastiness of the enemy. We become his victim and he leaves his dirt behind. If we aren’t careful, we believe the lie that it is our dirt. It isn’t.
I didn’t tell anyone. I hoped I could just press that gaping wound down and ignore it until it went away. It didn’t. It attracted more pain, which in turn, invited more infection.
Merry’s mistake brought up demonic orcs from the depths of the mountain. A battle ensued as Gandalf met the ringleader of that evil host. He and the strongman fought, descending into the depths where all was cold and dark.
All appeared lost until Gandalf rose again, with sword slashing, driving the demon back up into the light. It almost cost him his life, but in the end, Gandalf destroyed the evil strongman.
A battle with a strongman is real, whether we recognize it or not. We’ve heard his mocking. Sometimes we reel at his hits below the belt. He tries to assault with sickness, pain, or whatever his evil kingdom has to dish out. We can feel hurtled into the depths with no light in sight.
A lot more is at stake than our personal survival. More than we can see at the time.
For unto us, a Child is given. Unto us, a Son is born. His name shall be called Wonder, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace, there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with judgment and acts of loving kindness. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this… Isaiah 9:6,7
I’ve read that Scripture a lot of times, declaring His government (order) and His peace (shalom) increasing in a way that will never end. I just didn’t know it was for a kingdom. My kingdom. Your kingdom.
We don’t call it that anymore. We call it a sphere of influence. It covers the significant people in our lives, the ones we’re connected to. A kingdom grows as we welcome God-appointed people into our lives. It isn’t perfect. My kingdom still has pain in it. God’s order of love and truth is growing, but there are some muddy waters.
Those waters are a signal to take hold of my sword. For the sake of my kingdom. It is a sword of never-ending grace and truth. It’s a sword God entrusted to me, not out of perfection, but out of determined pursuit. So I hang on no matter how dark it gets. I slice and dice those lies until they are forced right up into the light and destroyed.
For years I thought I was the one the strongman was after. Turns out, he was after more than me. He was after my kingdom.
Unto us a Child is given, unto us a Son is born. He came to rule for us and for our kingdom. He came to order and establish my kingdom and yours in justice and acts of loving-kindness. He is Wonder (Miracle), Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Daddy and Prince of Peace for each of us and for everyone He brings into our lives.
In this new year we’ll remember our choices to follow Him are more important than we think. We may feel tossed into dark places that threaten to swallow us. They won’t. We’ll keep that sword close at hand, knowing His promise, trusting our kingdoms to Him.