My dear friend Rachel's husband, Brian, just got back a few weeks ago from a mission trip to Africa. After the group returned Brian shared one Sunday about spiritual warfare and how before he went on this trip he really didn't put a ton of thought into it. As I listened to him speak I realized this was spot on with my thinking. I generally don't put a lot of thought into tough mornings and the fact that the devil might be trying to trip me up to start my day. I generally just chalk it up to a good ol case of bad luck. One morning when we were running, Rachel and I stumbled upon a man who needed help. We had to stop and call 911 and were running pretty late. Then when she got home it was one thing after another when she was trying to get out of the house and make it on time to VBS. When she got to church she remembered that the plan of salvation was being shared with everyone and the devil was in turmoil trying to trip everyone up and bring the mood down. She texed me this when she realized what was going on and I will be honest....I agreed 100%, but I still didn't put much stock into it. However, as I deepen my walk and work on strengthening my relationship with Christ I am learning how much of a real thing this is and how serious you have to take it.
The first court date B had started at 1:15. My mother in law was coming to my house to watch the kids and for the first time in forever ran into multiple lane closures on the way. She got to my house at 1:05. I was beyond stressed out. Then, I tried to call his caseworker multiple times to warn her I was running late only to find out she had taken off due to an emergency and I had no-one else's number. On the way to court my phone GPS took me to a dead end and J.O. was in a meeting. I somehow found the court (with frantic phone calls to whoever would answer the phone at DHS) and showed up at 1:20. The judge was 10 minutes late so it worked out but I was BESIDE myself when I showed up. Definitely not how I imagined entering. I had planned to pray the whole way there and have my heart guarded and ready. Looking back now I recognize it for what it was...the devil was at battle.
Tuesday I went to church for a Bible Study. The door I normally enter was locked and so I grabbed my keys to unlock it. Only, I didn't have a key anymore because I no longer work there. I walked around to the front door and walked in to see several of my dear teacher friends there working and I had no idea they would be there. Why didn't they call me? Oh yeah, I no longer work there. Then, I went upstairs to pay some bills for school and it was more than I thought...wait, don't I get a discount?? No, I no longer work there. I entered Bible Study in a FOUL mood. I was really ready to walk back out and go home. However, I stayed and really figured I would get nothing out of it (the devil was probably pretty happy I thought that) and imagine my surprise when I related to the speaker who was my grandmothers age! She talked about being called out of her comfort zone and how tough it was! I left feeling so uplifted!
In the meantime, my new washing machine broke (up to 2 weeks to fix) and our downstairs unit froze and needed 2 lbs of Freon. I did not handle it well today. For one thing, I felt awful because I had asked my sweet friend Heather to wash a "hand wash only" dress for me (I had no clue) and she stressed she had ruined it. Totally my fault but I felt terrible because she then hand washed it and worked on it forever. I also reverted back to stressing about all things financial and wondering how in the world we will make it. I was about ready to throw in the towel when I get a text from Rachel asking if she could drop off some clothes and a stroller I am borrowing. When I get the items she also hands me a bag of cookies and a sweet note about the devil being at work. It was like someone hit me on the forehead and said "duh". Why is it so hard for me to recognize? I become so focused on how hard it is for us right now and don't realize there is always someone out there working against us. The devil is truly at work and I need to recognize it.
Spiritual warfare is a very real thing and something we have to work hard to guard our hearts against. I can only imagine he is going to step it up two-fold in the next 3 weeks when some of my best friends return to work and I wonder why I'm not. Then I will look at sweet B and tell the devil he will not win.