My mother used to have a saying, “If you laugh today, you’ll cry tomorrow.” I fought against that pessimistic thinking with every fiber of my being. Verbally, logically, spiritually. One would walk through life with her chin on the ground, fear bound to laugh, to experience any pleasure in life.
However, as I grew in spiritual knowledge and my relationship with the Lord, I saw some truth in that phrase. When we experience a victory from the Lord, a time of joy in the Lord, suddenly a target appears on our backs. The enemy of our souls prepares his attack. He hones in on vulnerable Christians basking in the sweet taste of victory who have let their guard slip.
“Be well-balanced–temperate, sober-minded; be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” 1Peter 5:8 Amplified
A week ago, we laughed and hiked with friends through God’s glorious creation. We feasted on sweet fellowship, broke bread across a table laden with tasty foods, and created new memories.
Perhaps my guard was down. I was basking in the moment. I had let my armor slip.
This last week, we were hit with trials. Some–minor, one–major. Like an ill wind blowing, the uneasiness crept into our home, whistled through the loose beams, then exploded into an alarming storm on Wednesday night. While ticking on the keys, I heard the laundry room door flung open in horror. A familiar voice screamed up the stairs, “Janis, Janis, Chip has been hit by a car.” Hubby’s fearful voice propelled me down the stairs. The fear multiplied, my own voice shaking as frightening images of our dog lying in the street flashed through my mind.
I was fear bound instead of faith protected. I panicked, but forgot to pray. I ran in helpless circles when Chip, our dog, was nowhere to be found. Our young men and a faithful neighbor took over, and eventually we had Chip in the back seat of the car on the way to the vet hospital. There is no 911 for animals. No paramedics to call to the scene.
On the way to the hospital, I finally began to pray. Chip was alive, no blood oozing out, just a state of shock setting in on his weak body.
The Lord was gracious to us, and we tasted His victory once again. After a thorough examination by the veterinary medical staff and X-rays, Chip had no visible injuries or broken bones. He stayed overnight in the hospital to be re-hydrated due to loss of fluids from the shock and to receive pain medication for the accident.
Five days later, Chip has improved considerably. Even his limp seems to be healing with medication. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to the Lord for His mercy and graciousness toward us. And I’m donning my armor to be prepared for future attacks when I need to stand firmly in the Lord, regardless of the outcome (that’s hard to say).
As I write this story, I know there are others out there suffering far greater trials than what our family went through this week. For you who have lost children, spouses, jobs, or homes or who are suffering through illness, I pray that you may taste the Lord’s victory on the other side of your trial. And may His word encourage and strengthen you through your storm.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV
Thank you, Lord for this week’s blessings:
287) for protecting and healing Chip, even as I know others have more serious burdens of illness and loss that they are taking to You
288) for healing the blisters on my fingers
289) for a job interview tomorrow for another position at my current school
290) for peace dwelling in our home once more
291) for progress with my student at school
292) for the Christian Writers’ Conference
293) for Hubby traveling with me to the conference
294) for faithful friends who lift us in prayer
295) for the Chili Cook-off at Church today
296) for rest