The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

May 9, 2014

Back from Alaska and the last frontier

I’m having the darndest time writing today’s column.

It’s not because I don’t have anything to talk about. I have so many topics roaming around in my noggin right now, it’s a matter of tackling one and sticking with it long enough to jot it down for you before the power flips off again.

First off, I should apologize. April was so crazy busy I didn’t stop to spend any time with you. (Not that you missed me with Sarah filling the gap so wonderfully with her column “Uncommon Grace.”)

I had a full calendar at work last month from losing and gaining staff, hosting a spring festival and running feedback surveys to coordinating a leadership course and spearheading a summer kickoff party. There is never a dull moment in my office!

In the midst of all that controlled chaos, I had pre-booked a week to fly to Alaska to cuddle with the newest addition to our family, my little Seanie-boy. I had harrowing adventures with my luggage and long layovers, all of which dimmed in the breathtaking beauty of the Last Frontier. We trekked trails, ate Thai food and took in a handful of TV episodes of shows I never get to watch, since I don’t have cable or streaming Internet at my place.

Of course, the real purpose of my trip north was to change diapers, warm up bottles, rock out in the kitchen and be a soft place to snooze. Sean and I daily bonded while my sister and brother-in-law snatched those opportunities to nap or eat in peace for the first time in six weeks.

Upon my return to the lower 48, I immediately jumped back into high gear and I haven’t really stopped to breathe since. Even now, as I try to get this column written, the storm is messing with my computer.

But what I wanted to share with you is the affirming love of Christ and His deliverance from whatever you feel locked in, trapped in or stuck in.

During my travels, I finished digesting Max Lucado’s book “You’ll Get Through This.” The 15 chapters teach the subtitle: “Hope and help for your turbulent times.” Lucado intertwines modern tales with the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50).

The key passage is from Genesis 50:20 — “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

Translated, “You wove evil, but God rewove it together for good. God cleared the debris, stabilized the structure and bolted the trusses until the chaos became the triumph.”

Lucado says Satan does his best to neutralize us, to mute us because we represent a challenge to his plan. But God always trumps Satan and we need to learn to trust Him.

Hence the title of the book and a common thread throughout Scripture: “You’ll get through this.” You will get through the valley, through the wilderness, through the fire.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” — Isaiah 43:2

Remember, “God recycles evil into righteousness.” It’s His job to make good out the messes we make. You are not alone and you will bounce back.

I know I’ve written about the Southern gospel group The Crabb Family before, but I feel like I should again. One of my most favorite songs is Gerald Crabb’s “Through the Fire.” The chorus goes like this:

“He never promised that the cross would not get heavy/And the hill would not be hard to climb/He never offered our victories without fighting/But He said help would always come in time/Just remember when your standing in the valley of decision/And the adversary says give in/Just hold on, our Lord will show up/And He will take you through the fire again.”

Just hold on. You’ll get through this. God promises that you will.

Contact Ruth Ann Replogle at www.facebook.com/JustHoldOnRR or justholdonrr@gmail.com

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