Friday, May 14, 2010

For a moment - it's just too much

For a moment in time you are lonely.
For a moment in time you are scared.

For a moment in time you are hurt

For a moment in time you are….. hungry, tired,  beaten, you name it - you feel it.

How many moments in your life have you felt like this?  How many moments in life have you felt alone in a world with millions upon billions of people? How many moments in your life have you felt that faith alone cannot hold you up – for this moment – this moment is just too much this time?

Look around you - you have friends, family, co-workers, etc all willing to tell you Hallmark greeting worthy messages.  They can tell you God has a plan, things happen for a reason, don't be silly you are not alone, and on and on and on.  

Today though if you turn to me I will tell you a different message.  Not one of God and goodness but one of evil and hatred.  As you know I consider myself a Christian (and I say this loosely as I feel it's more about my relationship with Christ than my relationship with the church or even the title itself).  I also have had more of "those moments" than most people should ever have in their lifetime yet I still have much more to go.  
I want to talk about something no one utters, no one speaks about.  It has become like a Harry Potter novel where there is this evil one that no one speaks his name in fear of conjuring that very evil up! 

Today I want to remind you that while you are having that moment - the devil, Satan himself is posed waiting to pounce on you and every doubt you have ever had.  See I do not believe that Satan just tempts us.  No I believe that at times he stomps on us over and over again.  So much so that we can only see the beating that will begin from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we pass out with exhaustion at night.  Satan has learned that through our faith we are strong so a little temptation doesn't always go far enough - or a slight bump in the road doesn't always stop us from he upped his game.  

I believe that when you are on the right path, that when you are posed to do the most good for God and his kingdom is exactly the moment Satan chooses to commence those attacks.  And do not worry - it won't be a small war waged - it will feel as if Satan and his entire army has chosen your doorstep to wage war and somehow you were not able to get out in time.  A sea of evil and darkness will descend upon you so that you cannot see past it to light and goodness around you.  

Why you ask - why would Satan taken an interest in someone who seemingly seems so unimportant?  Easy! In God's kingdom we are all important.  Each person Satan wins over is one more for him and one less for God.  By drowning you in despair you become weary and it's harder and harder to remember the light and the good and the fact that you are surrounded by those who truly love you and would do anything for you.  So in short - he wins!

The biggest questions - How do you get out of it?  How do you endure it? And most importantly how do you stop it?  I cannot tell you specifically what you need to do to stop Satan from attacking.  I can tell you that there have been times in my life where Satan has lashed out at me so hard and so fast that I felt one more blow would crush me, that all my life had been drained from me and that no matter who I loved or how much faith I had I just wasn't sure one more breath was possible.  I also know that in those moments I was bare boned on the floor begging God to make it stop - to help me hold my faith and begging Him not to forsake me or forget me.  No I mean literally on my knees before God - praying? begging?  That I am not sure but those times are one of the few times I have come to God completely stripped of anything earthly or remotely full of pride or anything else that I've learned here on this earth.  I have come before him stripped of all things and in that moment is when I have seen the greatest light.  

In that moment, I understand that it's not always about God rescuing you but sometimes it's about you rescuing yourself.  It's about you realizing that no matter what Satan has in store for you - you belong to the greatest protector there is.  It's about realizing that sometimes beatings happen and God's NOT going to stop them all - however He is going to be there to pick you up when you ask.  It's not different than the times I watched my son walk onto a path I knew would lead to hurt and pain - but I let him so that he could learn and grow.  So if I would do this to my own son - why would my Father not do the same for me.

Now I know what you are thinking - why would he allow us to be pummeled by Satan for so long and so hard?  I can't tell you that - only God can - but I can tell you that no matter how it feels you must hold on to the truths that you are NOT alone in this world and that your faith CAN hold out through the worst of the worst. I can tell you that Satan has an interest in you for a reason - he is trying with all his might to stop you from doing something for God.  Think about it - did he not do the same to Jesus in the dessert?

Today I bring you no hallmark greeting - just a solid knowledge that 1. you do have friends out there who can give you a hallmark greeting and that alone is a blessing and 2. you have a God who is more powerful than Satan could ever be and when you strip yourself down He will wrap His arms gently around you and hold you through the worst of it.

Be strong and brave against Satan's attacks - for he has an army and he has no conscience that keeps him from attacking even us, no matter how small of a part we feel we play, and he will keep it up until you banish him over and over again - you may not have won the war today but you can win the battle - and one day you will be on top of the hill again amazed at what God can do!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


She is blessed beyond belief with her friends and family.  She has a small group that comes every Tuesday to eat and study together.  Though some nights there isn't much studying - instead there's story telling like tonight. They are laughing together as they tell their life's war stories.  None of the stories include "war" - just simple things like dynamite alarm clocks that get the bomb squad called, stories of past relationships, the time the cat was left in the refrigerator all day... just simple day to day stories that make us laugh.

In a birds eye view this woman has the perfect life.  Friends, family, a nice house, a job (which is no simple feat in this economy) and even pets.  What you don't see though is her true story.  In order to see a person's story it is always so much deeper than it looks.

For instance, we could start with the first layer.  This woman who looks like she has everything is riddled with pain and health problems.  Every time she swivels her head to listen to another person's story a sharp pain radiates down her neck into her lower spine.  Sometimes depending on where she looks or how she turns her neck a pain shoots down her arms and makes her entire arm go numb.  Does she wince or cry out - no because that is considered a weakness in her eyes.  So she pushes it all back until they leave.  When they leave she can collapse in a chair, let the tears come to her eyes and wonder how she's going to get through another day of this.  Then she will wonder how do you  put your feet on the floor in the morning knowing that first step will be the beginning of a new day of pain.  However she doesn't have that luxury right now, so she smiles and laughs and works harder at pushing all the rest further and further away. 

So with a minor glimpse into this woman's first layer we see pain.  Now we think to ourselves - well she's stubborn that's why she pushes through.  She has a room full of friends and family - why not lean on them.  Heck there are even a few in that room who have asked her that.  Well in order to understand the answers to those accusations/questions you would have to go into another layer of who that woman is and how she became that way. 

So the question is this - do we dare go deeper?  To go deeper means we connect ourselves to her even more - to go deeper means that we would have to accept that the pain and suffering she holds within that mind could be too much to bear - even for someone who is strong. 

Isn't that what we always do - weight out the options of how much we REALLY want to know?  How much we REALLY want to get involved?

The answer is this - in order to go beyond who we are and what we are dealing with we must reach outside of ourselves to see what others are going through.  It's harder than it sounds because life is just much easier if we keep things on a basic level and do not reach beyond the surface.

So I ask you - are you ready to reach beyond the surface of someone else - or are you happy within your own walls?