…then choose today whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15 (NLT)
The last couple of months have been hard. We’ve had two family health emergencies for two parents and the sudden death of an employee. It’s been an overwhelming six weeks. During this time, Nick and I, by the grace of God, have been able to stay connected spiritually. We’ve been praying and seeking God in all of this. We’ve been able to trust Him and hold there. Until…..
Until one day one of the family members called and initiated a not so nice conversation. There were accusations and very little listening. You know how these go. I’m sure we’ve all had them. Stress goes up, things are said and we’re off to the races.
I really struggled with this. I was hurt. Then I became angry and the old Elaine, the one God has been slowly removing, surfaced. I wanted to retaliate, remind the person of the facts, and an assortment of other things that kept circling through my head. Ever been there?
But, I knew I couldn’t. I was a child of God. That is not what He would have wanted. I started praying – a lot. As I prayed I heard Him speak. He said “I see you. I know you are hurt. But I have called you to something else. I have called you to die to yourself.” And I had peace. For a minute.
The next morning, the voices in my head started again and they were relentless. No matter how much I prayed, they kept coming back. I quoted scripture. I sang songs. But the voices would not stop. I asked God to take them away….but at the drop of a hat I was mad all over again.
One night, I woke up in the middle of the night and there they were….hounding me again. I said “God?” And I heard “Choose.” And I did. I said (out loud) “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan go away.” I then started thinking about Jesus and singing a song about Him. I went to sleep.
The next morning, I was fine. Voices gone. They try to sneak back in now and again but I am now actively choosing Jesus every time. As I pondered all of this, I realized a couple of things.
We are walking through some hard stuff. All the while I was holding on to Jesus and had a peace that was truly miraculous. Then, this one little thing happened and sent me off into a wasteland. As I processed I realized that Satan knows us so well. He knows how to distract us from abiding. He knows our weaknesses and will exploit those at any chance.
I also realized that I can pray and I can read the Bible and I can sing to distract myself but in my heart, I need to choose. I need to choose the path that Jesus wants for me. There are a lot of things that are going to happen in our lives that are wrong. There are things that are going to happen that are horrible in this world. Geez, just a minute listening to the news can send anyone spiraling. We have a choice to make. How are we going to live our lives….on the inside…where no one can see it but God? How are we going to live out being a disciple of Jesus? We have to choose Him. Actively, not just with words but in our hearts. No excuses. Not matter what.