Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fighting Off The Darkness

"You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light." 2 Samuel 22:29

"even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:12

I think that sometimes when I do my postings here, I make it sound easy. I think that as I write and read words of encouragement and verses in the Bible that get me excited, I make it sound as though every minute of every day is just filled to bursting with joy. And that I walk around thinking that life can't get any better than this.

But the fact is, life is not like that. When I write on this blog, and write all these words of encouragement, they are not just words for whoever happens to be reading it, they are also important words for myself. Words designed to encourage my soul.

Because just as we have a very real and wonderful God, we also have a very real and not-so-wonderful enemy. And it seems like the closer we try to get to God, the more the enemy comes at us. I almost never realize it at first either. Take the last few days. I've just been in a bad mood. And that carries over to everything, I'm short with the kids, I'm short with Andy, I spend all day being annoyed about every little thing, I really don't feel like doing housework or taking care of my everyday chores. I've been spending a lot of time the last three days sitting at the computer because I just haven't felt like doing anything else. Last night, it came to a head.

I'll tell you, I planned carefully to have dinner ready early, and then it was like a time warp, and all the sudden we're eating dinner late, so I'm rushing the kids to try and get out the door to church. And then as we're on our way out of town, we pass Andy in his work truck, and if I don't turn around for him, he's not coming to church because he has his work truck. This whole time, I'm thinking how much easier it would be to just stay home, but I turn around, and sit in the van and get annoyed that it's taking Andy so long to change out of his muddy clothes, all the while debating just staying home. Yet we trudged along to church. And on the way we got stuck behind a tractor, a slow car, and then we got caught in construction traffic. Seriously, someone did not want us to go to church, and the whole time I'm thinking about how much easier it would have been to stay home.

But we did eventually get to church, and we heard a message that we really, really needed to hear. Pastor talked about the very mood I've been in the last few days, and explained that it is the enemy, trying to convince me that I'm nothing, that all this God stuff is just a hoax, and that it is darkness, trying to creep in and steal my joy. Oh my. I took in every word that he said last night, and I rebuked that darkness, I told it to go away, because I am a child of God.

I am light! Even though the enemy will try and get at us with his horrible darkness, I need to remember that I have the Light of The World inside of me, and that makes me a beacon of light. I have no reason to fear the darkness, and when I enter a room, the darkness will flee.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Of course, when I look back in retrospect, when I look at the few days gone by where I've been in a bad mood, I can see it. I can see the darkness trying to push in. At the time I didn't, I blamed it on hormones and just tried to make it through each day as best as I could. This morning I feel like a new person, and I'm looking forward to the day ahead. For this is the day that the Lord has made! And I'm really praying for better discernment as well, so that I can see this darkness when it tries to come again, because I know it will. I pray that it stays far away from my household, and that as it tries to creep its way back in, we will recognize it and banish it once again.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden" Matthew 5:14


Michele said...

Wonderful post! I can't tell you how many times that happens to us on a Sunday morning... me feeling like just staying home because of a bad mood which came on because of the morning rush and all. I really appreciate your words of encouragement!

Erika W. said...

Michele, I don't know anyone who doesn't have that Sunday morning problem- even couples without kids come to church in a mood...

For our part, at least for Sunday morning, we've started setting the alarm earlier. It bites to give up that extra 20 minutes of sleep, but it's been such a blessing to be ready to go early. Wednesdays (I hope) will cease being so tricky once school is done. Three weeks and counting...