After we returned home on Sunday afternoon from our excursion to the little town of Apex, North Carolina, we had a lite lunch and watched a little football. Late in the afternoon I packed up the troops and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Near the end of our usual course my cell phone began to ring. In my haste to get out on the walk I had forgotten to bring my ear piece and therefore found it difficult to answer the call while pushing my wife in her chair and leading the dog on her lease!
When we got home I immediately started preparing dinner and actually forgot about the call until we sat down to partake of our meal. The caller with no caller ID had left a voice mail message so I played it back and discovered that it was a mutual friend of Piper’s parents and us. Over the years this gal has been a Godsend to her folks. She is one of those strong-willed and at times, rather blunt individuals with a heart of gold! I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for her timely and pushy interventions that Piper’s folks might not be with us anymore!
She was also one of the few individuals who supported us when others in the family seemed to pursue another line of thought than we ascribed to. Her husband had passed away a number of years ago and I had done a lot of work around her home and two acre plot of land when I had my lawn care business. During that time we became fairly close and even though we tend to come from different perspectives on many subjects, we have a great respect for each other.
At the end of her voice mail message she emphatically talked about how she “knew” that we were having a tough time of things and repeatedly encouraged me to get help on a regular basis. She was so adamant in the message that I almost started feeling sorry for myself because of all the things she “thought” we were going through. I almost bought into the package she was trying to sell me!
When the message ended I looked over to my wife with what I am sure was a very incredulous look. After a moment of silent reflection I said to her: “Where did that come from?” During our last conversation about a month previous to Sunday’s message, this friend had also gone on and on about some things that did not come close to reflecting our situation or needs. So, with both of those conversations in mind, I shook my head and thought about how it felt like I often times am talking to a wall when I converse with certain individuals! It is also interesting how this seems to regularly happen with one particular circle of relatives and their friends.
I thought about the wall angle during my study times both yesterday and today. I googled the saying: “like talking to a wall” and found an appropriate description on the Urban Dictionary website. It stated that this referenced “talking to someone and they react or respond as if you never said what you just said to them.” Does that experience sound familiar to you? If you’re like me, then you know that this can be most frustrating, especially when it happens repeatedly.
The voice mail message left on Sunday marked the second similar conversation that week that I had with that same interrelated circle of folks that left me shaking my head. Not only were they looking at things from a totally different perspective than we do, but the formation or development of their statements was based on false pretense.
As I went to the Lord with this frustration today, He led me to Isaiah 22:29-30 in the English Standard Version. Here the prophet is crying out to the Lord proclaiming, “For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.” The statement of leaping over the wall caused me to smile as I had been specifically asking the Lord how I could break through the wall that I kept hitting whenever I interacted with these people.
Like many of the historical military examples, the best tactic at times is to ignore the immovability of the wall and simply go around or over it, instead of trying to knock it down! A somewhat recent example being the Maginot Line of defenses and fortifications that the French built along their border with Germany in the 1930’s. When Germany did invade France in 1940, the wall was strategically ineffective as the German army invaded through Belgium, outflanking the Maginot Line, while their Air Force flew over it.
In my meditation over all of this, it was as if the Lord was saying that He is the one who gives us the strength to go over the wall by our continual acts of love and patience toward those who just don’t hear us. I also seemed to recall a time when God caused a most imposing wall that threatened to stop the Israelites from entering into the Promised Land, to fall down flat when they banded together and marched around the wall praising Him!
So… it is back to trusting Him and not worrying about the destruction of the wall that others put up before you and me. It is His job to knock it down and/or enlighten us as to the best way to go over or around it! Our job is to listen, to love and to obey! That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be easy, but it is doable when we place it in the hands of the Lord. Have a terrific day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I going to TRUST for someone’s wall today?”