Either Way…I Still Praise Him.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
(David, Psalm 139:5)

We are distressed/hard-pressed/troubled/squeezed on every side…
(Paul, 2 Corinthians 4:8)

Nobody puts ‘Baby’ in a corner.
(Johnny Castle, Dirty Dancing)

I’m feeling ‘hemmed in’ these days. Diminished. Limited. Grounded, like a teenager: no keys, no car, no friends. Just school, then home.

On top of that, I feel cornered. Outnumbered.

It’s redolent of a scene in Thor where the Viking hero and his compatriots infiltrate the Frost Giant’s lair and are met by a relentless enemy in wave after wave, each giant becoming more formidable than the last and more numerous than before.

Yeah, that captures it nicely.

On every front a vexing battle is being waged and it seems like I am losing ground.






Some fronts are more like skirmishes while others border on “Shock and Awe.” These days I look like the Arizona border, Iraq (in March, 2003) and Afghanistan all rolled into one.

Lord, is it warfare?

Am I being downsized? Capsized? Ostracized?

Then, like good news from home, these words came for me when I was about to arrive at some ill-advised conclusions:

On your behalf I speak to adversity, for I the Lord come to bring the power of My voice over the power that has come against you. For, I have been given all authority, and by that authority I speak over your life that you may be totally free from all adversity, oppression, depression, fear, anxiety and worry. When I am with you, you cannot be defeated. I speak into your life–peace be still. And, there will come a great calm and a great benefit. No longer allow yourself to sit down in the very pit and doldrums of failure, but arise to new heights. As the sun rises each day, arise and shine for you are the people of light; the children of light and the glory of My kingdom upon the earth. It is time for you to come to a new understanding of who you are in Me and who I am in you. It is time for you to feel the power of My wind upon you; the power of the wind that flows through your mind and regenerates your spirit. Come this day and receive a fresh baptism and allow the wind of My Spirit to move you and to lift you. Come and fly with Me, says the Lord.

On the other hand, I could be hearing:

Snip, snip.

That doesn’t negate the rhema word. Whether I’m being intentionally hemmed in (like a time-out for an unreasonable child) or it’s just my time for the gardener’s shears—either way—my trust is in God and I purpose to stay the course.

Faith may not know where it’s going, but it is in love with its Leader.

In faith, this day, I have it on good authority that I am not being shelved or downsized. Neither are you. We’re being prepped for reassignment. “Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it.”

In faith, this day, I declare that “friends may fail me, foes assail me” but, hear this enemy: “He my Savior makes me whole.” Jesus. What a Friend for Sinners. I know He loves me to death, but not like Lenny in Of Mice and Men who loved a little too hard. His Hands enfold me, they do not crush me.

Though He slay me…even if there’s no seed in the barn and the cattle barns are empty…no figs on the branches…if this infection never leaves my body and my leg falls off…if (fill in your own blank here)

Either way.


I say:

I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me sure-footed as a deer, able to tread upon the heights!
(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Hemmed in. Targeted. Isolated. Pressed on every side. Fire on one side and flood on the other.

Do not despair, o my soul.

He always brings us through and out, and gloriously IN.


8 thoughts on “Either Way…I Still Praise Him.

  1. Marie says:

    Gloriously in! I would say I’m so sorry for all that you are going through, but it is obvious that God has His purpose all wrapped up in you and instead of sorry, I am excited! Although I can’t imagine what your flesh (literal and spiritual) are suffering, I do know that the Sufferer of All Time is coming through loud and clear. He is beautiful in you!


    • pasturescott says:

      Marie, you bless me!

      “Indeed we suffer with Him so that we might share in His glory” (Rom 8:17)

      What wisdom! What love! Our God is so kind to allow us to be so intimately connected with the Son of Suffering and Glory! These posts and comments just give more opportunities to declare His righteousness and compassion to the saints. All is for Him and He is worthy of the reward of His suffering.

      I see Him in you, too, dear one!


  2. brotherjohnny says:

    I feel much the same way… but my moments of praise are probably out-weights by my cries of despair right now. Not *trying* to be a bummer. :/

    I sure hope that my own input hasn’t caused you too much distress, even though if we were to trade spots, I can see how it could. If so, I’m sorry, Brother.
    And like a true brother, feel free to tell me to “grow up”, “hush up” or to leave you alone.

    I was telling a friend (yes, amazingly, I have a *couple* left…) that it seems like every and all kinds of relationships are breaking down everywhere…, which makes ‘sense’ seeing as how the sin is all about independence, individualism, or rather straight up “self for self”. There are exceptions, of course, to the epidemic but man, seems like it’s spreading like wild fire.

    Not that you don’t know this already, and not that my saying this makes it any easier, but it is true that those called to the work of the Lord, and who continue faithfully will always suffer this sort of thing to a higher degree than others…or so it certainly seems.

    I am writing all of this (hopefully safely!!!!) assuming that Sandy is still firmly by your side, Brother. If this remains true, I join you in your praise to the Father.

    Scott, thank you for being an Oasis for me and many others, or dare I say… a Pasture.


    • pasturescott says:

      I can think of no greater pleasure in the world than to be in this with you, JT, to come alongside to offer the consolation of Christ and strength of the Spirit, to ‘Pasture’ and offer you a place to lie down. Please know that you have been a brother to me, too, in these parlays, and I have so enjoyed the Christ who lives in you.

      Yes, my precious Sandy is with me, and her faith is a really bright light around here. I am thankful.

      I pray for you. Some day, JT…some day…

      An old song I used to sing in church springs to mind:

      It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus;
      Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ–
      one glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase,
      so bravely run the race, till we see Him!


  3. Thanks Scott. Most days I feel this way…hemmed in, possibly ostracisezed, struck down etc…so I can relate. This was so enocuraging today. mY heart is always burdened by the fact that “community” rarely if never exists and people just are not part of one anothers lives unless it is here in the written word, yet still as you have said-I will trust Him Who is faithful. Love You.


    • pasturescott says:

      I love that faith–the faith of the Son of God–that is in you, Cindy. You carry a daily load most could never think to carry, but when others speak of you, it is with admiration. That is Jesus! Never, ever forget you have been fashioned into a Warrior Princess and nothing can conquer you, except Christ Jesus! He has engraved you on His palms and in your affliction, He, too, is afflicted (Isa. 64:9). His mercies are NEW today, and will be new again tomorrow. There is not ONE in HIs pasture that He has not called by name and does not intimately love. I am charged by your trust in Him. He began this thing, and He aims to finish it! Love you, too.


  4. Kim M says:

    A couple years ago I read the biography of Hudson Taylor and I distinctly remember him going through an especially trying time of loneliness, hunger, and feeling as though he wasn’t accomplishing all that God had for him. Basically, hemmed in- with nowhere to go, but to the One who alone provides refuge and security. Hudson Taylor came through that time with the recognition that the Lord’s hand was surely present and involved, and that it entailed bringing him through the difficulties so he would have compassion for those who were struggling in the same way. The Lord recently brought this to my mind concerning a situation in my life and it brought hope and encouragement for me to press on and trust the heart of my Daddy who knows best! I share it with you now in hopes that it will encourage you- you are never alone. The Lord is moving, I see it and sense the changing of tides-sometimes it’s like crashing waves washing over us, and other times it’s the gentle rush of rippling waters; but always doing a work in us for His glory and recognition. Thanks for your humble honesty, how it always has a way of encouraging others and spurring them, I can only believe, to keep pressing forward and moving on with the Lord to greater heights. I know it does for me! And yes, we know that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!


    • pasturescott says:

      Beautiful, beautiful words, Kim. Thank you. I believe the Lord will use your comment here to give oxygen to a good many who are running out of breath. Funny (not ha,ha) that you mention Hudson Taylor. His story has become so fresh to me recently. He truly embodied (after years of his own effort) what Life within looks like. He had a beautiful rest in the Lord, and childlike trust. He incarnated the “no longer I who live but Christ in me” reality. You are so right. All we go through becomes a stewardship so others may receive the consolation of Christ through us (2 Cor 1).

      Thank you for your important addition to this dialogue! God’s continued blessing be on you!


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