I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
Reelate: In a short time after the death of Muhammad, Islam spread like wildfire. During the next three centuries two thirds of Christendom had fallen and it looked like they were completely unstoppable. Then the Christians pushed back. In what has become known as the Crusades, the European world attempted to put a halt to the advance of Islam and possibly regain what had been lost. They failed. Wave after wave of “Christians” landed on the shores of the Near East but one by one bastions like Jerusalem, Edessa, Acre, and ultimately even Constantinople fell. This was as much because of the duplicity of those supposedly defending Christendom as it was from the ever mounting atrocities committed by both sides. The best what can be said is that they delayed the inevitable.
But the delay was over. Piece by piece, step by step Islam once again began to advance into Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean killing any who did not convert at the tip of their sword. The final piece on the board preventing their control of the Mediterranean was Malta. While Europe began pushing their boats out to explore newly discovered lands in the west, the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent turned his attention and his army of about 45,000 of the best soldiers in the world towards Malta. Standing in his way were five hundred Knights Hospitaller and an untrained peasant supplement that brought the defenders to just over six thousand.
Beginning on the eighteenth of May in the year 1565, the cannons started pounding. Before the end, over 130,000 cannonballs were launched against the walls St Elmo and then St Michael. When St Elmo was captured, those who fell were nailed to crosses and beheaded. Then their bodies were put in the water so that they would wash up on the defenders shores. Over and over again, assaults were launched against St Michael. Over and over again they were repulsed. By the end some thirty thousand Muslims including Suleiman himself, died trying to take that fort. On September 11 defeat was finally admitted and the Ottoman survivors left for home. The fortress stood strong.
React: I’ve never been under a literal siege. My guess is that you haven’t either but aren’t there times when we feel like we are facing certain defeat against impossible odds? We can look out at the enemy and see boatload after boatload after boatload of trouble coming our way. Victory might seem impossible for me until I remember that I am standing inside a fortress who is my God. I am on a rock that has stood strong and tall and proud against the worst that the storms of time has sent. Cancer is an enemy that will be defeated. Poverty, slavery, sickness, injustice… they may seem like unbeatable enemies today but there will come a time when that ship will sail. My God is greater. Addiction, sin, death… they might beat against the walls but they will never force their way in. The fortress stands strong and I will never be shaken.
God, there is nothing that can stand against You. Help me to rest secure in that fact when it seems the world is stacked against me. When I am facing problems or odds that seem impossible help me to remember that You are greater. You have not called me to just be a survivor. You have called me to be more than a conqueror and through You that is exactly what I am.