Sunday, September 1, 2013

Violently Resist

As a writer, I've always felt that I had a knack for putting onto paper thoughts that are hard to express.

It has to be written, though; I stink as a speaker of those thoughts. Just ask my husband. If, say, he and I would (hypothetically, of course) ever fight (and of course, this never happens), I would get so frustrated, not so much at him, but at myself, because I. can. not. spit. out. what. I. mean. to. say. 

So usually (in the event that such a fight should ever occur, which of course, is a ridiculous notion), he will go back to the bedroom an hour or two later, and there on his pillow will be a notebook with four or five pages of hand-written thought processes that I've spent the last space of time writing, because that's how I communicate best.

Sadly, as a result, I rarely get the fun of quick, witty retorts, unless by quick and witty, you mean hand-written and an hour or two delayed. By then, I can come up with a list of fifteen to twenty responses that would have been perfect if only I had thought of it when my husband had first uttered his side of it.

But sometimes, even when writing, I can't find the words that I want to use, that encapsulate everything I think or feel. Romans 8 in the Bible talks about how the Spirit intercedes for us with "groans that words cannot express."

This morning, on my way to church, I had a rare moment of complete alone time. My kids were all sick with one thing or another, and since I was on the worship team, I had to be at church, so my husband stayed at home with the kids. I honestly don't remember the last time I've had with just God and me, together, alone, and quiet without a background of screaming/laughing/crying/whining/yelling/giggling accompaniment.

All I could hear on the way to church this morning was the sound of the truck motor and the whoosh of trucks as they passed me on the highway.

And I had a moment-that-words-cannot-express. It was overwhelming, this break of quietness in my too-busy, too-loud, too-cluttered life as a mother/writer, where alone time just doesn't happen. I found myself praying, and listening, and crying, and basking in the presence of God. 

I discovered that I have spent so much time trying, so hard, to make it through the busy times, just putting one foot in front of the other, that I had distanced myself in my relationship with God.

I discovered that I had been through periods of doubt, where that tiny harmful voice whispers, What if this really is all there is? What if God doesn't exist?

I discovered that I have let myself become overwhelmed with life in general, that I've forgotten how to live. How ironic is that?

And I discovered that in spite of all the insecurities, all the doubts, all the fear of the future, I have faith that is stronger. I discovered that God not only sat and listened to me complain and whine, even doubt His very existence, but that He loved me through it, held me securely, reminded me of His faithfulness.

Sometimes, faith is a battle. It is not always allowing God to work in and through you, trusting that He fulfills His purpose in your life (though that is certainly a part of it). At times, faith means facing the doubts that come our way from the adversary; not just facing them, but resisting them.

Our pastor today spoke on Ephesians 6, that whole section about putting on the armor of God. He said that the Greek word Paul used when he said to "stand firm, then," was the same word that was used in the old testament when armies came together to "violently resist" each other.

So when doubt comes my way, or insecurities, or fear, I will violently resist. I will buckle on the belt of truth, slide my torso right into the breastplate of righteousness, get out my running shoes to be ready to take the gospel of peace. I'm gonna take up the shield of faith, which which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. That helmet of salvation will stay firmly planted on my head, and the sword of the Spirit will be unsheathed at all times. 

Because I am violently resisting.

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