Clowns to the left, jokers to the right…

“Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.”

Lyrics from Stuck in the Middle with You
Stealers Wheel

“And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.”

Martin Luther

DSCN2086
(an abandoned gristmill stone, Cables Mill, Cades Cove, The Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Townsend, TN / Julie Cook / 2015)

A two front war…it’s what Churchill longed for and what Hitler loathed.

As soon as the US threw her hat into the ring, following the attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler had set his sights on Russia, Churchill at long last knew that it was now only a matter of time before Hitler would crumble as the result of fighting a two front war.

History tells us that a two front war is a very difficult prospect for any warring nation as it requires a vast wealth of fresh troops, endless resources, new equipment, ample food, unending ammunition and free flowing cash in order to keep the fighting machine well fed.

It is exhausting and vastly draining on multiple national levels.

It is the ultimate squeeze play…a forcing of the hand…with all cards having to be be played at the same time as there is no longer the luxury of hiding anything…it’s now or never.

And that’s exactly how our ancient adversary enjoys plaguing us most…
Squeezing us on multiple fronts, diverting all of our energies, our attentions, our resources, our nerves, our health, all as we battle multiple opponents on multiple levels simultaneously.

It is disheartening, physically and emotionally exhausting, depressing, and very near crushing.
Defeat almost inevitably appears to be galloping toward us on the horizon as the specter of Death raises his scythe for the final blow….

And it is at that exact moment when we gratefully hear the rallying cry…

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Hymn A Mighty Fortress is our God
words and music by Martin Luther

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46: 1-3,7

(****whereas to many Martin Luther’s name cries of derision, division and contempt, these ancient words speak to all Christians…Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant alike as we, the collective followers of Christ, continue finding ourselves pitted against an ancient foe who neither tires nor grows weary of making our lives miserable—it behooves us to always remember that we never go into battle alone)

10 comments on “Clowns to the left, jokers to the right…

  1. David says:

    I know it happens Julie, and it happens to us, but I have never actually put being under attack from multiple directions into perspective before.

    Have you heard Christy Nockels singing ‘A Mighty Fortress’ – it is one of my favourites.

    • Oh David, that is a beautiful version—her voice reminds me of Nichole Nordeman–whose music I love. And yes, the multiple fronts are most typical of my life—as is currently the case—the utter and constant seeming chaos at Dads—if it’s not him, it’s always her and then for fun, it’s both of them together—then something will happen with Gregory’s business, our health, his dad, Brenton and Abby—my mother use to say bad things come in threes but I’ve gotten use to a constant barrage—even in my sleep my dreams often plague me, leaving me troubled and exhausted when I wake—it behooves me to stop—assess the entire picture, seeing the true source of so much of the mayhem, then claiming saving Grace and His blessed calvary charge and then and only then am I better equipped to go forth and fight!!! 🙂

      • David says:

        I do wonder that if we are not under attack then it must mean we are not worth bothering with. Doesn’t make it any easier.

        I really like Christy Nockels’ music – her last CD was excellent (Let it be Jesus). I haven’t heard any of Nichole Nordeman’s songs. I have found her on iTunes and will have a listen.

        Getting on for midnight here so better shut down. Got to get John over to Hereford for rugby in the morning.

        Blessings, David

      • So right you are David—the “enemy” draws ever nearer as we draw ever nearer to all that is Holy….maybe its a signal we’re doing something right when everything starts to go to chaos 🙂
        do listen to Nichole Nordeman’s music–the album Woven and Spun is my favorite—here’s to John’s team being victorious tomorrow in rugby or is it merely practice…
        pleasant dreams my friend…

      • David says:

        Thank you Julie. Last official match of the season, although they have some tournaments left to play. Still haven’t made it upstairs but going now!

    • and PS, I might add that such attacks usually follow a time of true blessedness—of a rejuvenation of the Spirit—when we’re riding high Spiritually—that’s when the ancient foe is most annoyed 😉

  2. Nicodemas says:

    Encouraging words!

  3. Lynda says:

    You are right that we never go into battle alone. Our Lord is always asking us to rest in God who is our refuge and strength. Blessings.

  4. You are under attack so much and so often because the Enemy wants to drag such a valiant and stalwart opponent down. That’s always been his plan. He hits hardest those that are the biggest threat to his overcoming the populace and therefore the world. So upward and onward Christian soldier. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

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