In her book, Fervent, Priscilla Shirer says, “If I were your enemy, I’d disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you’d focus on the wrong culprit—your husband, your friend, your hurt, your finances, anything or anyone except me. Because when you zero in on the most convenient, obvious places to strike back against your problems, you get the impression you’re fighting for something. Even though all you’re really doing is just…fighting. For nothing.”
Let me paint a lovely picture for you. June 2nd, I woke up at 5:18 a.m. to get ready for church. This particular morning, I had been asked to sing in the worship center for the 11 o’clock service. I got to the church, rehearsed, everything went smoothly, and I went back home to pick up the rest of my family and my husband’s mother who was in town visiting. I had a few extra minutes to spare, so I made myself a hot cup of tea and sat on the couch. My son, Leo, was singing and playing “Ring Around the Rosie” in the kitchen and my daughter, Penelope, was painting at the table. She requested my help, so I got up to help her while leaving my cup unattended. In the 10 seconds I stepped away from my cup, my little Leo grabbed the piping hot cup of tea and poured it all down his belly. At this point I didn’t know what happened, all I heard was him screaming and crying and tugging at his shirt. It wasn’t until I walked over and saw that my floor was covered in tea. I quickly ripped off Leo’s shirt to see his skin already peeling off. I panicked, but I silently panicked. I couldn’t even form the words to tell my husband, Marcelo, what had happened. Once I finally and horribly explained the story to him, we went to the hospital. We didn’t wait too long, but those minutes seemed like hours. Our poor baby just crying and screaming because he was in pain. The doctors let us know he had second-degree burns and that he would have to go through a procedure the following day to get all the dead and excess skin off of his belly. June 3rd, I was extremely anxious in the waiting room for 2 and a half hours, but Leo did it! His procedure went amazing and all he had to do now was heal.
I know that was a long story to explain an accident that happens more often than we realize but let me share with you what happened when I had time to think to myself about all of this. I broke down in the car driving to the hospital that Sunday morning. I realized what I had done, or rather what I hadn’t done. Here are some of the thoughts that came into my mind:
-I should have put the top on the cup, then his burn wouldn’t be so bad.
-I should have brought the cup with me when I was going to help Penelope.
-If only I had seen him go over, I could have told him “don’t touch it.”
-I shouldn’t have made the cup of tea in the first place.
-Why did this have to happen while Marcelo’s mom is here?
-I am an awful mother.
-How could I let this happen?
-I wish it was me instead.
I’m going to be honest with you ladies, June was a month of guilt and smothering anxiety for me. If you saw me in person in June, I smiled through it all. That smile was façade of happiness, hiding my true feelings and flaws. I wasn’t investing in my marriage and I was an apathetic mother. I let Satan get to me. I let Satan convince me that I was an awful mother. I let Satan feed me lies that I was an even worse wife. Oh, and then of course he reminded me how much my mistake was going to cost me…literally. Hospital bills usually aren’t cheap, even if you have decent insurance. Satan disguised himself as my situation, but he began to sneak into other aspects of my life and tried to tear me down.
LADIES, WE ARE AT WAR!
You may have a similar story to this, you may not relate to my story at all…even in the slightest. That does not discount the fact that Satan is lurking. He’s a thief, a liar, a destroyer, a master manipulator, and an enemy. We are fighting a spiritual war. That June day, Satan made me lose my focus from God, which in turn caused a domino effect in my life. It is exactly what he wanted. Are you there today, sister? Is your focus off? Are you struggling? How can you prepare for this war?
Ephesians 6:11, 14-18 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil on; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
You may have heard this before to put on the armor of God. Well, it’s in our Bibles for a reason, and it isn’t a parable. 2,000 years ago, Paul specifically wrote this because he was fighting the same spiritual battle we are fighting today!
Dear Sister in Christ, if you are reading this right now, I urge you to just stop and pray. Be aware that the devil is trying to break our relationships. He tries relentlessly to ruin our relationship with God, our family, our friends, our co-workers. Be mindful and be aware of his sneaky ways. We underestimate him, and that is why we MUST arm ourselves with the truth. Satan’s final day is coming, but don’t let that an opening for him to antagonize you. Stand firm and be a woman of prayer. Prayer is the main weapon of spiritual warfare.
Psalm 41:11 says, “By this I know that you delight in me; my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.”
How are you fighting your battles?