This morning, that blog post came to mind as I sat in misery pondering the people in my life who are suffering. One is losing the fight against alcoholism. Another is winning that fight but has done irreparable damage to her family unit, and her spouse has not only asked for a divorce, but has also moved into a new relationship. A dear family member has lost a tooth, and a brother in Christ is suffering from chronic and debilitating neck pain. Another family member is in tears, feeling abandoned by most of her children, and is hurting even more deeply as we approach what is traditionally the holiday season. Online friends are fighting cancer, or have recently lost a beloved pet. Some have lost spouses in the last year, or children, or parents. Covid lockdowns are devastating citizens. A friend told me this morning that she and her boyfriend might have been infected. My own recent fight with Covid has resulted in a ripping case of telegen effluvium. Coming out of a nasty two year divorce from a twenty year marriage of covert narcissistic abuse, punctuated by a PTSD diagnosis, has also contributed to my hair falling out by the handful.
It seems like everything sucks.
It would be easy to start griping at God. "Where are you? Why aren’t you helping me and those whom I love? Why are you letting crappy people get away with their nastiness?" It was time to pull myself up by my bootstraps as I sipped my morning cup o’ joe.
So I started to praise God instead of whining. Instantly, I was spirit-filled and overwhelmed with love. I prayed for each of those who came to mind and who have been struggling. As tears rolled down my cheeks at their need for God’s protection and love, I heard a phrase repeatedly: I am God’s warrior.
My mind resisted because I was not feeling particularly warrior-like.
I was fighting my hardest fight this morning while in my pajamas, going bald, and sipping coffee. What a spectacular contradiction.
That’s when the post about David and Saul’s armor came to mind. He was the victor over Goliath in a garment that was probably far less intricate and sophisticated than my pajamas. But he WON. He won through faith, not might. His brothers probably didn’t believe he could do it. The Philistines laughed at the slight young man who challenged their mighty warrior. He persisted in faith.
I have told God before that when The Enemy messes with me, I will double down on my prayers against his evil plans. I will pray hard against everything that is getting thrown at us. I will pray that God’s people are strengthened and brought together in unity. I will FIGHT because that’s how I was made. It’s that same fight in me that enabled me to survive so many years of misery.
When I pray like this, one of my dog becomes visibly frightened. All 120 pounds of him trembles and he tries to hide his head against me, whining. He’ll try to tuck his head behind my back if I’m sitting on the couch. He’ll try to hide his head against the cabinets if I’m at the sink. He’ll run into the shower (which he hates) if I’m praying there.
That’s how I know my prayers are working. Sorry, Bobo.
David initially fought as a shepherd, but was later a mighty warrior. Jesus initially fought as a shepherd and will return as a mighty warrior. The church is currently fighting as shepherds...it's my opinion that we will be returning as part of his army on the Day of the Lord. We'd better start thinking of ourselves as soldiers.
Whoever is reading this today, know that this morning was pivotal for me. I have embraced my role as a warrior and for now, my weapon is prayer. I am going wield that weapon like never before, for all of us.
Eyes up. Our redemption draweth nigh. I’m certain of it.