The Unshakable Dichotomy

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My sleepy dog was brought to life early this morning by a frisky herd of deer, young and old, playing in the yard next door.  When I opened the slider to let him have a closer look their choreographed dance leapt toward the woods, white tails trained skyward.  Because we live adjacent to a forest preserve, I wasn’t surprised by what I saw.  But I was surprised by what I heard.  Birds.  Somewhere in the bonelike fingers of winter branches songbirds perched and called to one another.  Their sound was so completely spring-like I actually stopped for a moment to remind myself that it is still the middle of winter. It’s below freezing outside and our little corner of the world is blanketed in snow. 

Dichotomy.  Two divergent realities in one congruent moment.

A couple of weeks ago close to 100 women converged for our winter retreat, Unshakable, standing on the Rock. Together we explored what it means to be unshakable. We will be shaken. Yes, we will. Anyone who is alive and awake in this world today can’t deny that fact.  At the same time, however, we can be unshakable.

What does that look like?  What does it mean to be torn down and shattered, but solid as a rock?  Can we be tossed and tormented by life’s trials and at the same time, be held tenaciously tight by the One who never changes?  It’s a dichotomy.  Two distinct, seemingly opposing realities colliding, intertwining.  And it is a very true picture of heaven on earth.  Of God’s mighty kingdom manifesting in our flawed and shaky lives.

What does it look like to be unshakable? We saw it at the retreat, through tears and laughter, through sorrow and joy.  We saw it in lives shaken, but at the same time, becoming unshakable.  We saw it in the sharing of God’s Word, in the gift of song, and in the beauty of worship.  We saw it through whispered prayer, a loving touch, a knowing glance, a healing hug.

We saw what it means to become unshakable.

In the unshakable dichotomy one reality is always stronger.  One reality rules.  One reality wins.  God.  God’s reality is sovereign.  Eternal.  Unshakable.  Even when our walls appear to be crumbling, our Foundation is unyielding.  Even when our borders are under attack, our Fortress is impenetrable.  Even when our bodies are weak and our hearts are tired, our Father is the sure, solid Rock who never changes. His love never fails and his grip never loosens.

“Though the mountains be shaken

    and the hills be removed,

yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken

    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”

    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,

    I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,

    your foundations with lapis lazuli.”  Isaiah 54:10-11

So when the headlines rock you, the diagnosis stops you or the pain cuts you deep, remember that the One who holds you secure cannot be shaken and will never let you go.  You can become unshakable when you stand on the Rock.

He alone is my Rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:2 NLT

March on, my soul; be strong! Judges 5:21b