Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TOWER (01/16/20)
TITLE: Towering Faith
By Robin Newberger
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Laying in wait for me to awake is my lifelong enemy, accuser, opponent, and antagonist. I know this foe by one moniker: “Fear.” Yet again, it had returned to battle over my spirit in an attempt to hold me captive. It was relentless in its pursuit of me.
I shut my eyes tightly, a fuzzy prayer forming in the cobwebs of my mind’s awakening. It’s a simple petition and I offer it up to the One who is faithful.
“Lord, please, help me!“
Fear. It is a formidable foe. Despite my pleadings over the years to be delivered from its grip, the Lord has allowed it to buffet me. So many mornings I awake to it, an opponent with no visage, uninvited, challenging me to a match that I don’t want to fight. This foe is like a tower – figurative in reality, yes, but dark and imposing, strong, frightening, and fierce.
Here I am once again, squaring off with this familiar challenger. I do what I always do. I will myself to get out of bed, take in a deep, life-giving breath of God-given oxygen, put on my bathrobe and step into my slippers. I made my way to the kitchen, keenly aware of the effects of time on my over-the-hill frame. The coffeemaker was set to automatic; the hot, brain cell-reviving brew is ready to pour. I tipped the carafe into the waiting mug, watching the creamer swirl and morph into the black liquid. This morning ritual comforts me, oddly, and shoos away the unease in my spirit. The rich aroma fills the air, signaling the start of another day.
The sun was beginning its ascent in the eastern sky as I gazed out my kitchen window, grateful to be a witness to it. It was the Golden Hour of the day when the sun painted its masterpiece in the sky, showcasing soft hues of blue, orange, and gray, backlighting a cluster of cirrus clouds. But something else arrested my attention.
In the distance, my eyes focused in on a giant tree, its leafless limbs illuminated against the morning skyline. Majestic it stood and how great was its presence! It towered above the neighboring trees, branching outward and upward toward the heavens. In this moment, it was all I could look at, this colossus on the horizon, beautiful and imposing, a tower of protection to the birds that inhabit it. Its branches reached out like a dancer’s arms, graceful in their strength, the sun casting her glow behind its winter skeleton, a deciduous wonder.
Nearly dead center was a bird’s nest resting in the crux of two limbs. I stared at it as it drew me in, oddly at first, until I understood its import. This was a picture of stillness, faith, and hope. A swift answer to my simple prayer: His promises tower above my fears. I thought about the birds that inhabit that nest. Jesus said they do not worry. Oh, Lord, to be a bird! To fly to my high tower in the treetops and nest in peace with not a care, knowing without knowing that my Creator will provide all that I need and never fear. And then came the prayer in response:
“Lord God, You, alone, are my only refuge like the birds of the air who trust in You without pause. They nest in the heights and they fear not. They awake without food, without fear, because they cannot fear – oh, that you would have made Man so, but You did not. You seek those who would seek Thee and find safety in Your high tower – this tower is faith. I am one who seeks to trust You in fear and in faith because You, Lord, are a tower of refuge to Your people. You are high and lifted up, a stronghold for all who fear."
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous shall run into it and be raised up.” Prov. 18:10 (JUB)
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