The tension in our home presses on me as if the ceiling and walls were inching closer, forcing out the air and leaving me suffocated.
Every task I put my hand to seems like dragging through mud with repeated interruptions and distractions. My phone will not stop ringing. We’re late to pick up our daughter from camp. Back issues make any position uncomfortable. Each word on the screen is a struggle…even if I get them down, the cursor jumps unbidden to another spot, inserting letters into the middle of a different word. Run! It urges me. Get out. Quit. Give up. Screaming or crying seem my only option for release.
But I get it. I know what’s happening.
For those of you who don’t believe in an enemy of our souls (Satan), or who relegate him to a comically sinister pitch forked demon dressed in a red unitard, I may challenge your theology with these next words.
The Bible says Satan is like a lion prowling around looking to devour us. (I Peter 5:8) It warns us to be alert to his schemes because he is out steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10) or anything we put our hand to; especially if we have been following God’s lead in any particular direction.
This morning, as we do each Friday morning, Brendan and I spent time reading and discussing a book on marriage. I’ve mentioned the book in previous blogs. The title is Love and War by John and Stasi Eldrege. We’re on our second time through it in the past six months–it’s that helpful! The interesting thing is that we’ve been working on the same chapter for three weeks. Not that it’s so long, but because of the subject. The title of the chapter? How to Have a Really Good Fight (Chapter 6 in case you are headed there now).
What we both love about this chapter is the fact that it uncovers what goes on under the surface of a marriage. The prowling lion part. How can best friends who adore each other in every sense of the word be convinced at times that each one is the other’s worst enemy? Why do accusations jump to our minds at the innocuous words or actions of our spouse? What goes through our mind in the midst of a disagreement–our spouse’s pain or our point? For two hours, we battled through the end of this chapter, praying, discussing, crying, praying for each other. Yes, it was a battle. A well fought and well worth it one. But a battle nonetheless. And clearly, the battle rages on through our day.
Because we are on the right path and the enemy is squirming.
My feeling of running and screaming? It’s really Satan’s fear at losing his grip on areas of our life and marriage. He’s the one screaming as we stand together to have a really good fight–against him!
Other areas are threatening him as well. Brendan recently submitted an invention for a patent; I’m almost finished with the editing on our book. Our kids are growing each day in their understanding of God, his love for them and who he made them to be. Brendan and I are being healed and changed from past hurts. Each step we take following the direction God indicates (starting with Brendan deciding to contact me online) brings us more life, more freedom and more joy, individually and as a couple and family.
And each step threatens God’s enemy and ours. Especially when we tell people. Or write it in a blog or a song or a book. The stories we tell about God’s work in our lives strengthen us and others. Just like John and Stasi Eldrege have strengthened us with their story through their book.
The good news?
Peace has come while I’ve been writing this. The ceiling is in its rightful place, and I no longer feel like screaming.
So how’s your day going? Do you have a story to tell that puts fear in the heart of Satan because it brings life and rightness and gives glory to God? Will you share in the comments below?