There are many surprises, challenges, and difficulties in life that feel like a WALL in front of us. We hope the difficulties will be short-lived. We pray that the future holds something better. Fortunately, our God cares about these walls, as He said to the Prophet Isaiah:
Can’t you see? I have tattooed a picture of your name on my hands! Your WALLS are always my concern.“ (Isaiah 49:16, a combination of the Passion Translation and the Amplified Bible).
The Lord highlighted this verse to me[i] as I was continuing my current study of the Book of Isaiah. When the Lord highlights something, it must be important!
Our Walls Today
We are finally emerging from a huge wall—the pandemic. The last year has restricted the pursuit of personal destiny for many people. The Covid closures destroyed many small businesses and restricted large-scale events and church activities. In several parts of the USA, we are still restricted in going out for dinner, visiting friends, and even gathering as a family.
We cry out—”Lord, help us get back to the pursuit of our destinies that you planted in us at birth! And take away these masks that make us feel like prisoners or bank robbers in an old western movie!”
One of the most famous statements about walls is from the West Berlin speech by President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987:
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Miraculously, the Soviet Union approved the demolition of the Berlin wall in 1989 and allowed access to both West and East Berlin. We can only imagine the glee among the East Berliners who finally had access to the more favorable lifestyle of West Berlin! Likewise, we pray for the walls created by Covid to come down!
Stories of Tearing Down Walls
Another reason for writing this Blog is to pass on to readers some tips on surviving and overcoming the walls that have affected us. Let’s use the favorite method Jesus used–telling stories! Hopefully, we can learn from examples and move ahead.
Story #1: As I have mentioned in previous Blogs, my parents were wonderful and supportive until alcohol took control of them and wild arguments and abusive blowups started to happen. This often brought a WALL of FEAR. When the neighbors began to hear about this, my siblings and I lived behind a WALL of SHAME whenever we walked around the neighborhood. To overcome the feelings of fear, shame, and disappointment, I set my face “like flint” (Isaiah 50:7, NIV, NKJV) and dug into every school activity I could find. It started in about the eighth grade and continued through high school years. I spent a lot more time away from home by throwing myself into sports, drama, choir, student government, and more. Coaches, teachers, and my Grandparents cheered me on and kept me going as I tackled all those Walls. The lesson learned was this—dive into encouraging activities, find some support from others, turn it over to the Lord, and pray like crazy!
Story #2: When I was a senior in high school, I had a girlfriend whose family was prominent and wealthy. Her home was much larger than our 900 square foot home with one bathroom for 5 people! What hit me was the WALL of STATUS that can divide people into “classes” based on income or occupation. The relationship ended due, somewhat, to that WALL. I was fortunate to have supportive friends, a special teacher, and, later, a scholarship to a highly rated college! Moving on to new heights was the secret along with asking the Lord to bring something encouraging.
Story #3: Perhaps you have had jobs that included unexpected walls. I’ve had a few! On three occasions, it was a fellow employee that caused a WALL of CONFLICT. In two cases, my fellow workers felt that they should be the sole leader of a project when it was supposed to be a team effort. One co-worker was so intent on taking over that he convinced a manager that I should repay the company for wasted time. I had to get an attorney to counteract the attack. Fortunately, it worked and, after three years, the co-worker said to the manager, “If my department doesn’t get a higher budget, I’m going to resign!” The manager accepted his resignation! Later, I learned that the manager had been studying the situation and knew that the co-worker was a problem for many other workers. One way I overcame these walls was to find a friend at work that I could pray with. We would meet regularly and share frustrations, family issues, and challenges at work. We often found help in the Bible and always prayed for each other.
I’m sure you have many other stories with the same or different WALLS. Perhaps you can be an encouragement to others by sharing your story and inviting them to pray with you. Our God wants us to live in victory and “tear down those walls.”
Pastor G. Harold Roid
[i] By “highlight” I mean that the verse, especially the word WALL did something in my spirit to make it “come alive” suddenly as if the Lord turned on a flashing light as I read the word. We used this method of reading the scriptures (looking for highlighted words) as part of a class we taught on “Hearing God’s Voice,” This is a gift from God that any born again Christian can obtain with the power of Jesus in them, reading the books on hearing God, and practicing this gift until it becomes a habit. It is a great way to teach others and can be combined with “word studies” (where you search the scriptures for other uses of the same word or even search for the Hebrew or Greek meanings of that word). Especially, with Hebrew words, there are multiple meanings to a word in the Bible that expand your understanding of what God was saying to us in that part of scripture! Try it, you will be blessed!