Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tearing Down the Wall

August 13, 1961 is a significant day in world history. Fidel Castro celebrated his 35th birthday and the East German government closed their border as they began the construction on the famed Berlin Wall. The wall was built to stem the tide of refugees fleeing to freedom, while it officially kept out the “evils of the Western world.” It stood as a sentinel that reinforced the power of a military regime marked by oppression and forced compliance. Stories of brave and daring escapes over, under and through the wall would mark the next 28 years of Cold War history. August 13, 1961 was also the day I was born.

The Berlin Wall became a symbol of conflict in the world: the struggle for Western Democracy against Communist oppression, personal independence versus tight controls, unlimited freedom or a system that squashed expressions of individualism, and the fight between good and evil. Those who faced the wall in the 1960s and 1970s could never imagine the scenes of the Wall coming down in 1989; it was only a dream that most thought they would never see.

David – the man with a heart after God – also faced numerous walls in his life. He lived many years with the promise of future kingship, while he lived as a fugitive and hunted man. In one of the dark moments when he struggled with who he knew God wanted him to be, facing the persecution of Saul as he stalked him like a wild animal, he wrote Psalm 18. (Check it out!) The Psalm is an interesting journey that tracks David’s life from praise to despair, only to return back to praise.

Psalm 18:29 is one of my favourite verses: “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

On November 9th, 2009, a celebration will be held to commemorate 20 years since the Berlin Wall was dismantled. My tiny German Grandmother prayed for and saw this day happen in her lifetime, reinforcing the thought that with God, nothing is impossible. With God we can scale a wall.

What are the walls that I am facing today? Some of them are yet unfulfilled dreams for my family and for my life. Some are the obstacles as I face the daily task of leading a ministry and surviving the current economic downturn. None of them are insurmountable when I stop to reflect that my God is with me and knows the challenges that I face.

What are the obstacles that seem untouchable and insurmountable in your life? Each one of us faces situations when we sense the need for assurance that “with my God I can scale a wall.” Taking down or overcoming the challenges we face may take time, and may occur differently than we envision, but God’s Word enables us to be of good courage, even when we face a wall.

Stay tuned for my weekly posts and ramblings.


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