This summer has been a summer of bare feet and a series of heel-stomping attacks that have nearly done me in.
I’ve opened my blog so many times to try to share how I feel,
and I’ve been wordless.
I’ve tossed and turned in bed in the wee hours of the morning.
I’m a firm believer in spiritual warfare,
and I know I’ve been wrestling with unseen forces.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
I met with my associate minister recently and during our conversation I told him,
“You know it’s bad when you’re at the beach with your husband for the very first time in your whole married life without children and you find yourself searching the Internet for symptoms of a mid-life crisis.”
Tim has been a saint in this summer of tears.
He’s prayed me through many dark nights.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. this morning, though, and I kept hearing the words,
“When the devil almost gets the best of you.”
Over and over I heard them in my head.
Was this it?
Was this the way he would take me down after all I’ve survived?
Would he silence me by convincing me that I had somehow failed,
let people down,
not been enough,
finished my calling?
I heard it again and again,
“When the devil almost gets the best of you.”
I’m so thankful that one word was there.
I woke up and went straight to the Bible.
I remembered my recent attempt at paintball and how I discovered,
after the game had begun,
that I hadn’t checked to see if my marker was loaded.
I found myself crouched and hiding with no way to fight back.
There’s no beating the devil if your reservoir is empty.
And believe me, he’s attacking all of us today.
The wooden barrier became my shield of faith,
but deep inside I knew I needed more to really help in the fight against the enemy.
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I remembered how Jesus,
when attacked by the devil in the desert,
had the same simple reply to every temptation…………..
“It is written.”
If Jesus knew He could only fight the enemy with the Word,
doesn’t it make sense that I would need it too?
So this morning, I dug deep.
When you’re in a pit,
digging doesn’t seem like the natural way out,
but isn’t it just like God to turn what does makes sense upside down?
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them,
because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
I John 4:4
I am from God.
And He is greater than the one who is using every possible tactic to weaken my walk…………
emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
God is greater.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
God isn’t surprised at my weariness.
He knew I would have seasons of stumbling and even falling face down.
But even in my darkest chapters,
He’s still there.
The everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth……………
never tired, never weary…………
always offering strength.
No matter how low I feel on any given day,
I will fly again.
I will soar.
And so will you.
Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
do not be discouraged,
Building up confidence
All week long we filled paper bags with encouraging words we had written to each other and on the last day of camp everyone opened their bag of encouraging messages and read what others had to say to them.
It was so fun watching our team soak up messages written just to them.
The power of the written word should never be taken lightly.
Good or bad……………….
our words always matter.
I am a lover of the Word and of words.
And today, I finally feel like I can write again.
It feels so good to break through this season of sadness and say out loud,
“Life is hard, and I’ve been struggling.”
There are so many layers of big things going on in my life right now.
Things that have caused me to cry many days in a row.
But, today, I’m feeling the table cloth that has been spread across my soul slowly being pulled away just enough for me to see the light again.
And it feels so good.
If you’ve ever battled overwhelming sadness or depression,
know you’re not alone.
We live in a difficult time in world history.
A time when anxiety can easily get the best of us if we aren’t careful.
Today, I just want to say “thank you” to all of my friends who have been praying me through this tough season.
I’m beginning to feel the warmth of the sun again for the first time in a long time…………….
and it feels so good.
Be encouraged today.
No matter how difficult life may seem,
God is still with you.
Keep pressing on.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.