our struggle: Ephesians 6:12-13
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 6:12-13
Kind of feel like it’s coming in from all angles. Been dragged way out of what had been a somewhat longstanding comfort zone.
Now, someone like myself can only be so comfortable, but I had fallen into somewhat of a groove.
I think God has ejected me out of it. I draw that conclusion based on a period of time where too many recent events of significance have happened in succession. Today was no different, watched my post-breakdown car get towed away and it was not looking too good. Had what appeared to be a massive coolant leak, lots of smoke. It’s been like that lately. The most recent in a string of events which collectively convey a clear message. That being, it is time to grow. We have had enough harboring of anger, knee jerk self-dependence/reliance, and callousness to what should be so clearly evident to me; evident to the point of prompting action on His behalf.
Praise God, no matter how things are going. Can still say that, hope and expect I always will be able to.
Not to get into all of it, but just a few more of the events alluded to above:
My friend is in a bad way, he is recovering from another horrendous round of diabetes related infection. This go round, almost had another appendage amputated, his leg. Suffered a massive heart attack a short time ago. He lives alone when healthy enough, gets by on a disability pension. So this guy knows about instability, loneliness and fear. Anyway, I’m in the nursing home for a weekly visit, previous week’s had been in the hospital. So I walk in and get an immediate dose of reality. A bunch of residents, wheelchair ridden, take note and welcome me with somber but friendly nods. I seem to detect a slight surge of alertness and energy in their response, as if to say, “Wow, someone new has shown up.” And feel an immediate pull, which I have come to associate with my Lord’s purpose in showing and growing me. It almost seems as if He vocally communicates. The message this time, “You have seen some uncharacteristic bumps lately, but take a look at what they are dealing with. And if I indeed have loved you, then I call you to love them.” And I’m quite sure He does and has.
I then find myself affectionately grabbing and squeezing a lot of arms as I greet my new acquaintances and make my way down the hall.
My buddy looked better than the last time I saw Him, these visits can be not so uplifting at times. But this time, I came out feeling pretty darn good. I happened to look in the front drawer next to his bed, and, as suspected, found a Bible. Told him time for some study, and read right from Genesis 1:1. We then coupled that that with John 1:1. The neat thing in this impromptu study session, both those books, written thousands of years apart, start out with essentially the same phrase: “In the beginning..”. I think that is really cool, even cooler that He lead me to read from those two places. And my buddy’s response was one of hope and willingness.
So I’m going to go back to that place, even after my friend leaves. People there that just need a friend. Best part of it, I want to go, and this I attribute to the Lord.
And what, you might ask, does all this have to do with today’s verse? Today’s verse set talks about evil. Well, scripture tells us that all things not good have their origin in evil, rebellion against God.
All those people in the wheel chairs, my sick and disabled friend, and us: we all face trials, often times in no way due to anything wrong we did. Bad things happen every day in a flawed world, it can become so exhausting and discouraging. These things and the state of our world were not prescribed nor intended in God’s original plan. All these things are the end result of evil.
The element which allowed for this? Free will, a necessary component to any genuine relationship. In this way, the only intersection of flaw and perfection I can think of.
Given what I have recently experienced and seen, things are changing inside of me. In short, make it more about Him and what He would have for me. Make Him a bigger part of my life. Love people. Go back to that nursing home and invest in what will last, put less stock in what is fleeting. Have faith in the Lord, trust Him, rely on Him. If your car blows up at 3 PM, find a way to give it to God and enjoy the rest of the day.