~Imagine you are walking through a field where dead men lie all around. There are men fighting with swords and shields, many wounded, and many who have given up their fight and joined ranks with the other side. The Enemy stands before you, a dark rider upon his massive dark horse. He is the Destroyer, the Stealer, the Murderer. All that are on his side work on his behalf to do his bidding. They loathe the One that you fight for. They loathe your love for Him. They loathe all things Good and Lovely. But the One doesn't give up on you, even when you feel that you cannot fight anymore. He is the Invisible Presence that girds you with Strength when there is none left. He is the Guider who shows you how to fight. He is the Redeemer and He has already won the battle, it only must play itself out...
Today I look about me and see the battle raging. I look behind me and I see all the Dark Forces I have struck down, only because of my Friend. I look ahead of me and see an onslaught of more Forces. I feel weak, but my Friend says, "You are strong. In Me, you are strong. Take the sword of the Word and strike down the Enemy dear one. Lift up your shield of faith and defend yourself against the Enemy's lies. He cannot destroy you, for you belong to Me."~
The attacks that have come for me recently include my health, through the lump under my arm and the month-long battle not knowing what it was. Going out of town and my family being attacked, through mom, dad, and Spencer's cars being broken into on the same night and then mom getting glass in her eye trying to clean up the mess left behind. It feels like we are literally being robbed of money because of stupid things like a miscommunication between the Walmart cashier and I which led to money coming out of an account that it wasn't supposed to. And just when we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel in our finances, allowing the possibility of getting out of debt and maybe buying a house in the near future...we start getting medical bills. Then I wrestle with what I'm doing. Is it enough? Do I need to go to work full-time? I feel like the more I take control of the situation the less I let God and Dwayne have. I refuse to steal my husband's manhood and God-given desire and assignment to provide, unless God is calling me to that. What to do?
The Lord spoke this scripture to me two Sundays ago: "In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked; from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought my forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you" (Psalm 71:1-6).
Really the whole chapter spoke to me but I won't share it all here. Suffice it to say it was definitely of the Lord. The verse that encouraged me the most was probably: "Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up" (vs. 20).
This is why I fight. For Him. For Hope. Because I know He is pleased with my perseverance. But, oh, how I long for rest.
And then...I have said I want more of Him. Nothing else will do, and doesn't that mean I am striving for, like Paul, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surprassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (Philippians 3:7-9).
And in Peter: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-my be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6-7).
I want to say with confidence at the end: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
"Thank You Lord for loving me enough to lead me in Your Word, giving me a sermon to myself. I pray I do please You because that is the only thing that makes any of this worthwhile. I love You Lord."