Friday, April 4, 2014

Be Still: Part II

"BE CAREFUL! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are."  
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT)

What a warning. It can't get any clearer than that!

So where were we? Oh yes, last time if you remember my family and I had all taken a bad case of food poisoning (all are well, though I'm more easily nauseated than before, but I pray that passes soon, too) and how even in the midst of physical pain or discomfort we can't forget who takes care of us. JESUS. Thank you, Lord! The Devil wasn't done with us quite yet. Like a wolf in sheep's clothing {Matthew 7:15}, he crept in and bared his teeth trying to tear us apart.

I was at the beginning of recovery when I saw firsthand just how low the Devil will go to knock you down. Using any means necessary including friends and family, whomever is closest to you. He doesn't care. This was a huge test of faith {1 Peter 1:7} and I believe we became stronger as a family because of it.

I would share with you the full story of what happened. Honestly, I believe it would be a great testimony if you knew all the details, but I've prayed long about this and I feel right now it would only cause more harm as well as humiliate and shame the party this story is about. Though I hope they are ashamed of their behavior, I also pray they turn away and learn from it and do better. That is the power of Mercy and Forgiveness. Turning the other cheek {Luke 6:29}. Praying for them when you feel it so hard to pray for them. That is what makes us strong in faith and in God's love. Maybe one day I will share the story with you and you can see the full grace and presence of God in the situation. It truly made me cry. I could feel God with us and in me that week.

I still struggled with the emotional pain inside though. I couldn't believe what had happened and at the same time I was thinking "I'm not surprised, this is exactly how the Devil plays ball." Though it only works if the people listen to his whispers and lies and especially acts upon them. One of the verses that kept popping out to me, repeatedly though was:
"Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it over night and remain silent."  
―Psalm 4:4 (NLT)
That's exactly what Satan wanted that night. He wanted us to lash out at each other, burn bridges and focus on everything except Christ Jesus! But I did the opposite. I turned to Jesus and he showed me the true enemy. Instead of letting the flame that had been ignited turn into an all consuming fire, we doused it with prayer. Over the phone, my family and I prayed over them right then and right there. Through tears of heartache and pain, we prayed for those who hurt us and set out to hurt us and were preparing for, been waiting and staging, a fight.
“If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.” 
 ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I know my dad struggled most, but I couldn't have been prouder of him for showing so much strength. Trusting in God to fight this battle. That's where I found this verse such a source of strength to me. I need only to stay calm, the Lord will fight for me...{Exodus 14:14} There is a different version of this verse, one that made me laugh when I read it cause it's so straightforward. Like a kick in the rear when you didn't know you needed it. 
" God will fight the battle for you. 
And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
Exodus 14:14 (The Message)
I think that gets the point across, don't you? Oh how the Lord can find ways to lift your spirits. 

Third Lesson: Stay calm and pray! God will take care of it. You don't need to lift a finger just be silent. I couldn't have heard Him say it any clearer than that that week. And, so I did, as did my family. 
The rest of the week seemed long, but it moved quickly. I couldn't sleep yet I was so tired. My sister and I spent the rest of the week in our fort. She watched over me a lot because she knew how much I was hurting, thus hurting for me as well. So, I just want to give a shout out to my little sister! You bring more light into my world. Jesus made you beautiful and I'm so glad he blessed me with you instead of that brother I so desperately wanted before you were born. I LOVE YOU!

I'm still not finished telling you about that week, I still have a few more days to tell you about, but you will have to wait for Be Still: Part III. The final part. Don't be shy, you are always welcome here. Have a cookie and some milk. My other sister just brought some chocolate chip cookies home from work and they are just waiting for me to bring them out of their hiding place!


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