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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It was the best of times... it was the worst of times...

I remember my 25th year so well. I grew so much spiritually that year. I also hated the fact that I had turned 25. After all, that meant I was half-way to 30, right? Don't ask me what was so horrible about that, because the reality of 30 really wasn't that bad. So, with a pleasant "30" and "31" in my history book, I should have learned from that experience, right? Wrong. Now, I am 32, and this has once again been a dreaded birthday year for me. Why? I have not a clue, but it is, and it feels eerily similar to the span of time I experienced between 25 and 26. Except that this time, it is much more lonely and it feels like I am crawling around aimlessly while the rest of our "not-as-big-as-I-used-to-think-it-was" world flies by at record speed. It seems like everyone else is on a journey with a mission while I float by singing "It's a small world after all..."

Side note ~ I have GOT to go on that ride again this September when we go to Disney World! J ~ put it on the list!!! :-)

Anyway, I ask myself, "What is God doing? What is His plan? And when is He going to share the details with me?" And then, I find myself struggling in my faith. I believe in God. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He died, was buried, and rose again to offer me (and you) eternal life. I believe He knows all things and can do all things. Then, why do I sit here and wonder if He will keep His promise to me? Why do I doubt? Why do I envy others? Why don't I exhibit any confidence in my God who says "I Am", the One who has the power to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to move mountains? Why? I think I've just become so tired... of waiting... of trying to be strong...

You know, there are a few things I should have learned by now. One - to be careful what I pray for, and two - to be on the alert for Satan's attacks. You would think as many times as he beats me down with the same stick, I would learn to see it coming. I've even been warned in BIG BOLD letters ("I'll catch him while he is tired and weak" 2 Samuel 17:2a NCV), yet I seem to find myself helplessly cowering in the corner when I should be running away as fast as I can. Or better yet, beating him with the sword of the Spirit!

Back in my 25th year, I experienced the same thing. As I began to learn and grow in my faith, to seek and follow His will for my life, to treat God as LORD, and not just Savior, Satan began to attack...

Excerpt from the introduction of a paper I wrote about the process of change in my undergrad Psychology program...
On September 2, 2001, God used a song and a sermon to speak to me about the will of God and the will of Satan for my life. In his song “Take My Life”, Scott Underwood writes about his longing to be holy, faithful, and broken before God. In the chorus, he invites God to begin the process necessary to achieve this. It says “Take my heart and form it, take my mind transform it, take my will conform it, to yours, to yours, oh Lord” (Underwood, 1995). After our vocal group sang this song, the pastor began to preach. He explained that the name Devil comes from the Greek word Diabolos, which means slanderer or false accuser. He warned us that the devil attacks our mentality, morality, and motivation with false accusations because he desires to control our mind, heart, and will. This idea was supported by 2 Timothy 2:26 which says “Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil's trap, having been captured by him to do his will” (Holman Christian Standard Bible, 2001). He encouraged us to claim God’s power and protection and to resist the schemes of Satan by putting on the whole armor of God. I had never considered that Satan had a will for my life, but I recognized how he had rendered me useless to do the will of God by attacking my mind with false accusations. I determined to guard myself from that day on.

***

You would think I would learn from the past. Satan loves nothing more than a stronghold in our lives. Bet you can guess what mine is.


Even so, it is encouraging to see how faithful God is to redeem our weaknesses. He wants us to focus our eyes on the goal, even if we can't see the finish line. Just yesterday, I was reminded through the blog of a friend that our brokenness is the vehicle God uses to demonstrate Himself. I don't think this just means the pain we go through, but also the attitude of relinquishment that pain can bring. Why? So that, whatever the outcome, He will receive the glory.

Taking every thought captive until His plan becomes clear...


1 comment:

Daniel & Erin said...

Are you sure you do not want to get a Seminary degree and get involved in Women Ministries?

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