He came in through the back door.
No, not singing a tune from Prince here people, but speaking about the subtle tune flowing from the Prince of Darkness, AKA, Satan.
The past month has been a relentless pursuit from the enemy, fought behind the scenes, targeted at my ability to write lessons for an upcoming Bible study.
Initially, it began without any hint of my knowledge. Allegations accosted my mind, mocked my character, and left me questioning my competency.
“You want to teach, really?”
“What are YOU going to say that will make any difference?”
“You have nothing to offer.”
“Quit already before you embarrass yourself.”
“People will hear you once, and not come back.”
On and on the drone of discouragement seemed to shoot from every angle and exhaust my spirit, leaving me cloudy and disoriented. I’d sit at my computer and attempt to make sense of my thoughts and press onward, yet it was as if my fingers felt heavy on the keyboard struggling to find their way to letters and words to compile sentences that made sense.
Yet, I kept on. And as a result, glimmers of hope gradually emerged onto the word document.
Until one particular day, the steady drone of discouragement transitioned into a full-out assault to my wellbeing.
Playing on the heartstrings of my former failures and frailties, a heaviness consumed my heart and impaired all reasonable sense of judgement–
“You did it again. You made a mistake by quitting your job.”
“You’ve made such a mess of your family already; who are you to help another?”
“What’s the point?”
When, an enemy-induced oppression caused me to sink under a single thought:
“What’s the point of even being alive?”
“SHUT THE HELL UP, SATAN!”
The enemy came in through the back door, and attempted to wreak havoc on my mission.
This morning while on a run, I was reminded of back-to-back, back-door moments that brought clarity to the forefront of my mind.
The first occurred years ago. It was one of my first speaking opportunities, and to say I was nervous was an understatement. On the way to said location, I made a quick stop at Target for something which no longer comes to mind.
With bag in hand, I make my way across the parking lot, going through the mechanics of routine, while simultaneously rehearsing my speech. I push the button which pops the trunk, and my feet nearly collapse underneath me at what I see. (No, it wasn’t a dead body :)) But, it was something in particular that caused such a shock through my system I entered the luncheon weakened and defeated.
The other opportunity was a retreat, in which I was the entertainment.
Before leaving my house, I walked into one of my daughter’s rooms to snatch a pair of clean socks. Almost a joke as I opened the closet door to see piles of contaminated clothing cover every bit of floorspace. Anyway, I reached across the pile to the bin, as my hand felt for the knot suggesting two socks instead of one, when I happened upon something hard and unfamiliar to the touch. I pulled it out for inspection, and a knot formulated in the pit of my stomach at the sight of the item which again I
cannot will not mention.
Suffice to say, my hope sank lower than I thought possible, and the long drive was accompanied with a knot so deep in my core of my being, I could hardly catch a breath.
But…don’t you love a but in a story…
But, I happened upon something so seemingly insignificant lodged into the corner of a trunk I borrowed from the same daughter, underneath a pile of dust: a penny.
This may mean nothing, but for me, it was extraordinary. For months on end, I had what I called, ‘God moments’. Most of these moments included the accompaniment of a penny. Too long to travel into on this post, but let’s just say this sole item spoke volumes to my defeated soul, saying:
“Trust me Josie.”
“It will be okay.”
“I see your situation, and you are not without hope.”
“I am in control.”
“I am in your corner with you.”
YES. We need to be aware of the big-bad bully who is out to steal, kill and destroy–attempting to bring us down for the count. But…
We have One in our corner much more powerful who squelches the enemy with just a mere mention of his name: JESUS.
Do you believe this?
This is a battle, whether we recognize it or not.
Truth is, if he succeeds in sidelining my voice, then I lose the possibility of being a participant in the rescue and recruitment of souls for His Kingdom. I think not. I will be prayerfully aware of his presence from here on out.