Friday, October 3, 2014

Why Satan Works Like the Devil to Ruin Your Day

Picture day started off great. The girls were kindof excited, cause that’s what happens to girls on picture day, and they got up without too much hassle, got dressed and headed down for breakfast. I was still trying to nail-down what exactly I was going to do with Clare’s hair. We both had some ideas that had been discussed the night before. It involved braids and the Pinterest How-To didn’t look too bad, so I really DID think I could do it.

What the heck. I forgot my creativity goes no further than paper. Hair is NOT part of the package and I’ve known that forever. Why do I put myself in these situations?!
An hour later the girls had missed the bus, they were LATE for school, and I had been in tears most of the time, AND Clare’s hair looked nothing like we planned. In fact, after she got out of the van at school we took almost all of it out and I sent her into school with one braid and the rest of her hair looking like it usually does. I was SO mad. I was spitting fire and all kinds of other things I shouldn’t have been saying in front of my kids. All of it was about me being an idiot. So not only was Clare heading to class without a cute hairstyle, she was carrying all my baggage about how incompetent I am.

Not cool.

The day pretty much went downhill from there. See, I had just returned the day before from an awesome weekend in Minneapolis. And as inspiring and energizing as that had been, the first day back from a long weekend doesn’t go smoothly. I was playing catch-up and didn’t have a good plan and man I was crabby after the picture-day-fiasco.

I can’t even remember what additional incident I complained about to a good friend that afternoon when she wisely pointed out (as she often does), “Dude, It’s the Devil.”

Oh wow she was so right. The weekend had been SO amazing, Satan was working his tail off to get in my way and bring me down.

Some of you know mid-September brought the opportunity for me to do a workshop with one of my talented brothers, working with Team World Vision runners. Brother is stationed in Minneapolis as Twin Cities Area Team World Vision Events Director (except since then, he has been promoted to Team World Vision Manager of Operations! Woohoo!!). I headed up there for a weekend and we worked with a group of runners to help them tell their story. Brother and I have discovered on our journeys, this truth: life and its truths are not a series of bullet points, but are narratives with the power to make change. He saw the opportunity to share this with his runners and help them harness the power of their own stories, to help bring access to clean water to communities on the other side of the world.

Every single one of us has a story that we've lived, that's taking us to the next place. Knowing your story will help you better understand yourself, and I dare say, your Savior.

That weekend I had the rare opportunity to “chillax” (as 7-year-old Clare says) with my brother and sister and sweet nephew and niece. I was privileged to worship with a dear friend and Sister-in-Christ. I learned so much about myself as a presenter and even more about my own story. I met people who are sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of those suffering in another world - people they don’t know and will probably never meet. There was so much Truth to my weekend I could barely process it all.

Enter: Satan.

Oh, man, he was bound and determined to do everything he could to subtly get under my skin and make it so I put all of that fabulousness away. All that stuff about the Holy Spirit leading my words, and about sacrifice, and about people believing in each other as change-makers.

And he probably did do some damage. After all, a week later, harvest would begin. I would be swamped with duties of work and family, and writing would have to get in the back-seat, except tractors don’t even have a back-seat. I would find myself thinking that that my current usefulness ended when I walked off that plane. Put your ministry stuff away. You don’t have time for that right now and you don’t have anything to offer anyway.

He’s such a jerk.

The truth is, I am at peace with God and He has given me the work of helping others find peace with Him too. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting men’s sins against them.
And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We are therefore God’s ambassadors,
as though God were making his appeal through us.
2 Corinthians 5:18,19

The truth is, our stories comfort. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ
flow over into our lives,
so also through Christ
our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

The truth is, the Spirit works through us. 

But thanks be to God,
who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ
and through us spreads everywhere
the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

2 Corinthians 2:14

The truth is, the devil is my enemy. He is tricky and a liar and loves to gain the upper-hand, even if just for a minute. His goal is for me to feel incompetent all of the time. His goal is for me to lean on myself instead of the story and person of Christ’s saving grace. 
Constant. Saving. Grace.

This time of year is always tough. But my story continues to develop anyway. No matter what spots I find myself in: not trusting, not following-through, not giving thanks... God’s strength is constant and faithful and not dependent on me AT ALL. And when I wake up the next morning and start over with his grace and mercy, my story will reflect that and be a comfort to someone else who needs to see how great His mercy is.

So take that, Satan.

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