What a week!
It started out with complete and utter exhaustion. Saturday evening my son was bitten by a dog and I rushed him to the emergency room. I expected to wait, everyone knows you always wait in the ER unless you are dying, but I never dreamed we would still be waiting after ten, long, hungry, exhausting hours. I never dreamed a doctor would tell a child with a gash in his leg and tissues exposed, terrified of needles, that he would have to have to be stitched up, and then make him wait five more agonizing hours before it happened.
As the hours passed, my son finally fell asleep and I sat alone in the exam room, worried and exhausted. As the tears fell, God reminded me I was not alone. As my own strength faltered, He gave me comforting scriptures and held me in His arms. And He reminded me of Job.
Now, please don’t think I’m comparing myself with Job. But I do think we go through similar things and I believe each book of the Bible was written to help us along our journey. My favorite part of Job’s book is that he never gave the devil what he wanted. He never gave up on God. And God blessed Job richly for his obedience.
However, the devil never gives up! He doesn’t throw his hands up in the air at the first sign of defeat and walk away. No! He tries another way—over and over, relentlessly until finally he makes progress. If he can’t defeat us with one thing, he will try something new. Until eventually he finds our weak spot. Then he pounces.
He continuously yells negative words, trying to get us to listen to him. He pokes and prods at us until he has us ready to throw in the towel and give up. And when we give up, he wins. I don’t know about you, but the whole image of him defeating me just makes me mad and ready to fight.
Instead of standing up to him and fighting, I usually want to just give up. It’s so much easier for me to believe that there is no hope. It’s so much easier for me to believe the lies that he tells me, instead of searching for the truth. It’s so much easier to throw my hands in the air, declaring—I quit, than it is to keep trying.
During these times I like to think about Jesus. Where would I be if He had given up when things got hard for him? Where would I be, if He had listened to the devil as he tried to tempt Him? He lied to Jesus, just as he lies to us. The difference is that Jesus didn’t listen to him. Jesus didn’t allow the devil to make Him doubt the Lord or succumb to his will. Instead, He kept His eyes on God and the great plan and purpose just for Him and His life. He resisted the devil and caused him to flee.
We all go through hard times. We all come to the point of giving up, every once in a while. We all get discouraged and want to escape it all. But, what if someone is counting on us? What if there is a person somewhere that we are meant to help? What if God is preparing us for a purpose far greater than we can even conjure our minds to imagine?
As the Lord uses me to write these blogs, continue with my books, and do school visits, the devil rages. He tries everything possible to make me quit. He plagues me with doubts and fears. He makes me feel overwhelmed. He tells me over and over, I can’t help anyone or make a difference. He uses people to hurt my feelings and break my heart. He continuously throws obstacles in my way. He wants me to quit! Give up! Stop!
And when I continue to press on, he tries new angles. He knows that I will just cry and try to pray for those who hurt me; however, when my children are hurt, I want to fight. I get scared. I lose my sense of reasoning and believe the lies he tells me. I want to protect them with fierceness. I don’t want the devil to use my children to hurt me. I want to stop. I want to protect them. I want to just give in to him so he will leave me and my family alone. However, I KNOW deep down in my heart, quitting is not an option.
So I go to my Lord with a broken heart and beg Him to help me overcome this new obstacle in my way. I lift my eyes toward Heaven and, suddenly my problems don’t seem nearly as devastating. I stand still while the storms around me rage, and then my Lord steps in and gives me peace.
He eases my pain the devil inflicted and helps me to get back up. He gives me encouraging words from friends and strangers, and reminds me of my goals and purpose. He is my light through the darkest hour, and my strength during the weakest of times. He reminds me He is my protector! And the only way the devil can get to me or my family is if they go through Him.
He doesn’t give me trials and tribulations to break me, but rather to strengthen me. He doesn’t bring me to the impossible to fail, but to prove to me that through him all things are possible. I am weak, but my God is so STRONG!