I could just so distinctly feel him lurking…
I think one of the greatest ways the enemy defeats us (particularly as Americans) is making us forget he exists. We don’t talk about Satan often. I think we are more likely to chat about unfortunate circumstances as “bad luck” or “just one of those days” or maybe even by throwing ourselves a pity party asking “why do bad things always happen to me?” Maybe this is the case at times, but I’ll guarantee you the enemy is also lurking and when he realizes you’ve failed to recognize his scheming he delights that you will also forget to rebuke him in the name of his greatest enemy; Christ.
Nick and I would both say we “under” spiritualize things, even to a fault but this afternoon I recognized the enemy by the grace of my God.
Nick left today (Sunday) for Debra Zeit, a town about an hours drive outside of Addis. The Ethiopian church we serve with has a new church plant and he was going to encourage the leaders and share a word with the newly growing congregation.
That left me and the girls at home for all of Sunday afternoon. It started out fine but quickly dominoed. Here is the ridiculous series of events:
- Miah accidently slipped and bumped Aliza who fell into the side of our house and gave herself a major goose egg. Crying subdued with ice but now I’m thinking about the ridiculous amount of times this kid has hit her head.
- Miah got a time-out for something and while I was talking with her I realize Aliza is quiet (sure-fire sign something bad is happening). I find her in the kitchen where she had dumped an entire bottle of OIL.
- After bath and mopping, oil is finally cleaned up. Miah finds a cool bug so she wants to put it in a jar. Our only see-through jar with a lid is glass. When she went to sit it on the counter she didn’t make it and it shatters everywere. I holler for her not to move but she took off running which made me yell really loud! You can imagine the crying and then here comes Aliza. I grab her and stick her in her room with the door closed so she doesn’t step on glass.
- Miah cries the entire time I’m cleaning glass. Then I hear an awful crash and crying in their room where I had shut Aliza. She had crawled up on their paper-mache toybox and the entire thing had fallen over on her.
- Crying is finally under control 10 minutes later when I take her to the swing. I push her for a few minutes and Miah wants on the swing. I took Aliza inside to get a bottle and am literally thinking “can anything else go wrong? Oh shoot, Miah is going to fall off the swing!” and I kid you not… I hear crying outside and see Miah lying on the ground covered in dirt and leaves.
At this point, I’m almost in tears and a bit fearful. I keep thinking this is so ridiculous, what is happening? Then I start blaming myself for not being able to handle my kids by myself. Then I’m blaming Nick for leaving so much on weekends lately while I’m pregnant and more tired than I’ve ever been. Yes- that’s it. Pick up the phone and make sure he knows how bad this night has been and that he can’t leave again on a weekend until furlough. I tried to call but his phone was off which made me even more furious and then I thought, “WHY does this always happen on the weekends or evenings when Nick is gone?”
That lurking little sneak with his sly and pathetic ways to defeat me; not with one big thing but with dozens of “chance” happenings. My thinking quickly changed and I rebuked him in the Lord’s name.
*I took the evening back and refused to be afraid of or captive to what he would plan next. *
I asked Jesus for protection and awareness. I recognized that had Nick picked up the phone he would have felt awful and obliged to not leave me on the weekend again knowing how culturally stressed and physically tired I’ve been. I realized the enemy would have won because while it doesn’t seem like I’m here doing anything “important” I’m taking care of my family so that my husband can be out encouraging church leaders, building relationship, and teaching His word.
I almost, almost let the enemy stop that work but I didn’t and… and won’t.