The devil went down to Georgia
He was lookin’ for a soul to steal
He was in a bind, he was way behind
He was willin’ to make a deal…
In the last few weeks it seems like all hell has broken loose around these parts of Georgia. Ok, so maybe not all hell, but just when I think nothing else is going to go wrong, something does. It’s so frustrating and draining to constantly be worrying about what’s going to happen next or when the other proverbial shoe is going to drop on us.
We recently had something really good happen for us financially that we’ve been praying about and working towards for a long time. With this financial turn of events we happily thought that maybe, just maybe, we could start to get ahead and be on the up side of the financial world for a little while at least. Of course you know how it goes, you get ahead one place and something happens somewhere else to bring you right back down. For our family, living on one income and supporting so many people, it seems to be a constant struggle. It’s exhausting and to be honest sometimes just overwhelming. Still, we always trust in God to provide for our needs and He always does.
There are moments when giving into the frustration and fear of how to provide for our family seems like the easier choice to make. I can feel the devil standing behind me encouraging me to give up. He whispers those words of doubt in my ear and prods me to turn from my faith and give in to despair. When you feel like you are caught between a rock and a hard place sometimes you just can’t help but wonder how you will make it out of there. Suddenly it also seems that in addition to the worries over money there are other worries too… the kids are unhappy, someone gets sick, a friend is suffering from loss, there seems to be endless obligations and so little time to rejuvenate. It all becomes too much. Despair takes over.
At this time the devil is jumping up and down hoping that with any luck he’s going to lure you to his side. How much easier is it to just throw our hands up and say, “Forget it! I quit!” than to say, “I’m going to push through all this insanity”? The devil knows this and is willing to do what it takes to help us make the decision to quit and to give up faith.
Recently I had an epiphany sitting in the laundry mat doing a week’s worth of my family’s laundry. Our washer had broken and I was stuck dragging baskets upon baskets of clothes, towels and sheets to the laundry mat. As I looked at the 8 dryers that were turning, full of just my family’s clothes, I suddenly understood St. Teresa’s words better than I ever had before. She said, “God walks among the pots and the pans.” I had heard this before and understood it, knowing that I could find God in my every day work at home, but what I didn’t realize, and what I would find that night sitting in that laundry mat was that God is present always, even when it’s doing something that I don’t want to be doing. I certainly didn’t want my washing machine to break and to have to tote clothing for 12 people to the laundry mat. I didn’t want to have all those people watching me drag in so many baskets, murmuring to themselves about how in the world one person could have that much stuff. I didn’t want anyone to stare at me as I began dropping dozens and dozens of coins into 9 different washing machines and I certainly didn’t want to have to spend $70 to wash our clothing when I knew we didn’t have that extra money to be spending. Still, as St. Teresa would remind me, God was right there all along. It was a strange thing to find God sitting next to me at the all night laundry mat.
The devil hates when you have aha! moments like this. He’d much rather you give into the idea that God has abandoned you during these trials. I can only imagine what he may have been thinking as I looked around me and saw God’s reflection in those dryer windows. Surely he wasn’t happy with me. Of course he took other opportunities to try to make me turn from God in the last few weeks. When he found that the washing machine problems weren’t going to do it he reveled in the fact that a tire blew on our car and caused a lot of damage to our vehicle rendering it not drivable. He knows that again, money will be an issue for us. Likewise, he played on my mommy guilt this week when one of my kids felt like they needed more attention from me and that I spend more time with some of the other kids making her feel left out. I immediately felt about 2 inches tall and so not worthy of the title “Mama”. There were other problems that arose as well and I could hear him once again whispering in my ear, confirming my insecurities and doubts. He’s a persistent fella after all. Still, I am fortunate that I know Jesus has a much louder voice that I can hear over those devious whispers. I just have to choose to listen to Christ instead of the devil.
No matter the troubles we face, big or small, God will never abandon us. As Christ says in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Jesus brings us a peace that we cannot find anywhere else. When we place our trust and our troubles in his hands we find that the devil has no power over us and cannot use those unfortunate events in our lives to try to make us turn from our faith and from God.
The devil bowed his head
because he knew that he’d been beat…
When we choose to put our trust in the Lord the devil never stands a chance. It may feel like he is stronger than we are but we have a not-so-secret secret weapon- God. He knows us, He loves us, and He fights for us. We just have to decide to fight the fight with Him. When we do we will beat the devil every single time.