Acts 23:11-12 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
May the peace, love, joy and grace of our Lord be ever upon you. Times have been rough for me spiritually and emotionally lately. I have been struggling with doubt – not of God, but of man. Those of you who have been following my situation have heard that I have been wrongfully convicted of horrific and tragic crimes. Race was injected into my trial. I was stereotyped and mislabeled. The prosecutors and police tampered with evidence and witnesses. I filed for a mistrial and the courts stalled me for over a year. Now, all of a sudden, they are rushing my appeal. To my knowledge, they only rush an appeal when they intend to deny it. Such usually happens when a person or persons with great political power pulls strings. Now, I’m no martyr; nor am I seeking sympathy by claiming to be a victim. The facts are the facts. What took place during my trial was nothing short of a modern day lynching. Questions like, what color the people are where I am from, had no relevance whatsoever. They were posed solely to prejudice the jury. The suggestion, that a white man wouldn’t need to carry a gun because he is white and around white people, is also clearly and undeniably racist and meant to prejudice the jury. Yet, I was denied a motion for a mistrial and by the looks of it, I may be on the fast track to being railroaded on my appeal. Notice I said, “by the looks of it.” The truth is, I have no way of knowing what the outcome may be. My fears, though based on experience, are not necessarily valid.
Now, you would think that after all that God has done for me, after the miracles I witnessed and prayers He has answered, that my faith would be bulletproof. Paul actually witnessed and spoke to Christ, yet he continued to question the Lord. Why, he doubted whether or not he would even live moment to moment. The Lord constantly had to remind Paul that He was with him, that Paul had a purpose to fulfill and his time to die had not yet come. Even the apostles struggled with doubt. It is our flesh that causes doubt. We are all only human. As much as our foolish pride tries to deny it, the truth is, we are fallible. Even as God’s children, we are not created perfect, nor does God expect us to be.
Well, how then do we conquer fear and doubt? The Bible tells us plainly:
Philippians 4:6-8 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Pray not only for yourself, but each other. Pray earnestly, wholeheartedly and honestly. Open your eyes. Pay attention. There are signs all around you. God loves to prove Himself to us. He can’t wait to make His presence in our life known.
Don’t be ashamed of doubt. I don’t care how strong your faith is, we all experience it. My faith in God is secure, but I still fear the unknown. I know that I need to serve Him and that serving Him may mean staying in prison, unjustly, for the rest of my natural life. Yet, as a man, I can’t help but mourn the separation from those I love – even though that separation is serving a higher purpose. In 2nd Corinthians 12:7, Paul speaks of a thorn in his flesh: “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” It was a reminder that he was just a man – fallible! – as are we all. Yet, we must not allow our own fallibility to blind us to the perfect love, power and grace that is our Lord. He can overcome anything. Let us have no doubt of that. Praise Jesus!
I do not know the ultimate outcome of my current situation. Thus, at times, I am afraid and worried. But, I know for a fact, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God will see me through this. Amen! I am sure of His glory. Hallelujah! And yet, I struggle. And, that’s okay. Because I am just a man. God is God, not me. Our faith must be in Him and not ourselves. I don’t know what will happen today, tonight or tomorrow. But, I know that as long as I follow God, I will be okay in the end. Pray for me, even as I pray for you. Let us rely on God and each other and not ourselves. Know that we are all only human. My name is Randall S. Daluz and I am just a man – but as a child of the Almighty, I am saved and protected by grace. Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!
May God bless and keep you! May you accept and embrace your fallibility! May you put the entirety of your faith in God!
Love in Christ,
(A man who is just a man!)