The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me; I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” – Psalms 91:14-16
The past few days have been a struggle for me. I have occasionally felt beaten down and I couldn’t figure out why things were emotionally harder than they had been previously, especially with so many good things happening. My family was in town and my birthday was the other day. The baby is still alive and kicking (not that I can feel it yet though)! I started my new devotional book, Resolution for Women, and have been enjoying it and trying to focus on the lessons in it, like being content in my current situation and not rushing to the next phase of life. (I don’t want to just get through this. I want to enjoy what little time I may have with my baby. I want to enjoy my first pregnancy and be able to look back and remember how I felt when I saw that positive test and when I heard the heartbeat for the first time.) Yesterday’s sermon was about Gideon and letting your faith be bigger than your fear. I felt that lesson applied to me and Tim and we were encouraged.
Yet, with all the good things going on around us, I have still felt down. I told Tim this morning it’s getting harder to stay positive and at times it’s hard to pray. Why is it so hard to fight against feelings you don’t even want in the first place? I don’t want to be angry or bitter or self-pitying. Yet I’m constantly fighting to stay positive.
Some of you are probably saying “Duh! You’re going through a major fire. It’s okay to feel this way! It’s expected! You’re going to have times like this.” Don’t misunderstand me. I am letting myself feel the pain of what’s happening and the reality of this. I am letting my feelings out. I have emotional breakdowns and I have wonderfully amazing people who have soggy shoulders because of it.
And then it hit me.
We are all fighting a spiritual battle between right and wrong and I just went from being at the back of the battle with a few scratches to the front lines and they have me in their sites. I feel like I’m being attacked. I feel like I’m being beaten down. I feel like Satan is trying really hard to get me to take my focus off God and to question His plan. I feel like I’m literally fighting against darkness. Being positive is exhausting. But I know it is better than completely falling apart and hiding under the covers until February.
Last night I was feeling particularly attacked and all I could pray was “HELP!” This morning I started back to work after 10 days of vacation (which was lovely by the way). The whole way to work I was fighting tears. Then I got to work and my friend Christi was in the office next to me talking to my coworker, Dawn.
She asked how I was doing. I told her I was surviving and the tears came. She talked to me for about an hour and then Dawn came to check on me. She talked with me for about half an hour. Both these women cried with me and encouraged me to keep fighting against Satan’s attacks. Dawn prayed with me. Christi told me that the new devotional we’ll be starting in our small group Bible study tomorrow is the same one I started three days ago…coincidence?
And then it hit me…again.
I’m on the winning side! I’m in the Lord’s Army. The enemy has pulled back, at least for the moment. I’m pushing forward and gaining ground. This battle is going to be full of hills and valleys, but when I find myself down in the valley and the enemy is beating me up, backup is right around the corner.
Thank you God for putting me in my current job position where I’m surrounded by love and encouragement when I need it most! I texted Timmy to tell him I was feeling so much better and about the new Bible study we’re starting tomorrow. His response was “Cool. That’s definitely one of those moments where God’s presence is evident.”
I’ve been blessed by the people God has surrounded me with. Most importantly, I’m thankful beyond words to have a husband who is loving and supportive and not only recognizes God’s presence but reminds me of it as well.
Psalms 91 painted a picture in my head of a spiritual battle and finding shelter and relief in my God.
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”