It’s definitely the little things. Those are the ones that break you. And those are what the enemy uses.
Think of it. In war, there are the bombs, the guns, the big and obvious terrible things that do horrible harm. But the stuff that breaks down your spirit? Your will to fight? The little things... Those are more subtle.
Subtle, meaning: a change so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe; making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something.
I was so excited to finally be heading towards our new home base!
- After months of living on edge because of an abusive neighbour - one who directly informed us that he hated women, and then also became abusive with my husband, cursing, threatening, physically pushing, punching right beside my husband’s head, revving his large truck (because he was a small man) beside our home, terrorizing me at night when my husband was away... and a landlady that chose to look away and told us we had to deal with the problem ourselves.
- After two weeks of being on the road, finding places to sleep at night, finding water, running out of electricity, not able to charge our phones and having no internet...
You would think that would be enough to make us give up...but no, we were working towards getting to our new home base, and we were super busy with work.
But then, the cat ran away the morning we were supposed to drive off into the sunrise, so to speak. And so, we waited a couple of hours for her to come back. And then, I started praying. And praying. And getting worked up...
I heard my spirit tell me to “Be still.” And so, I obeyed. I walked to where our cat was last seen, and with difficulty, held out my hands, opened, and slowly opened my heart, tears running down my cheeks, and asked God to perform a miracle for me.
“I’m being still. I am stilling my heart, too. I am sorry that I have been just doing... It is easier to just do... God, you made a donkey talk. You can tell Calli to come back here. I won’t even move. I won’t even call her. It will be all You. I have done everything I can to try to find her. Only You can do this. You get the glory. And You listened to Gideon when he asked You to show him a sign. It’s not wrong for me to ask You... I am a hypocrite, God, because I just told a friend that Your timing is perfect, and I am wondering what is going on, why she isn’t coming back right now... You said we were to care for the animals. Please bring her back to us...”
Then I waited. And waited. And doubt trickled in. And I asked forgiveness. And I reminded God that He said that all I needed was faith the size of a mustard seed, and that was all I had. But He said that was all I needed. So I waited again.
But the cat did not come back.
And I went back to my car feeling defeated. And I cried.
This is the everyday. These are the little things that can wear us down a little at a time, and this can be that one little thing that makes us break.
It’s praying nightly with your young child that desperately wants to quit the bedwetting; it’s asking God to send a good friend for your daughter so she won’t be lonely; it’s wondering why and praying about your family member or friend that is terribly unwell; it’s trying to catch up on your finances and having your refrigerator die...
These are the little and not so little things that the enemy can use to put doubt into a Christian’s mind. Doubt that God is listening. Let’s face it - you know that He can fix this. You know it is not because He isn’t able.
BUT THINK OF THIS! When the enemy is about to lose, he tries to pull out all the stops! The enemy tries harder to get to you when he is losing. And guess what? You must be doing something right to even get this attention! God says to give thanks for the trials, because they are making you into a better you...
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.”
James 1:2-7 MSG
Is it His timing? Is He trying to let us learn lessons? I do have questions. But those questions are for God. I know He loves me! I know He knows every outcome before it even first happens.
I LOVE this version of these verses:
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great Your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If He works severely, He also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way…”
Lamentations 3:22-33 MSG
And then a thought came to my mind yesterday: Perhaps there is a sweet little girl that is in her home praying with her mom, and asking God for that pretty white and calico cat to come back and belong to her. (And although her mom knew that that cat probably belonged to someone else, she left the decision with God.) And this sweet little girl was so happy, and her mom blown away, that the cat came to be theirs...a cat that was healthy, and neutered, and super loving... (This very scenario happened to us when our youngest wanted a certain cat that showed up one day, so hey! Maybe...)
I did not get a cat returned to me that day. But I did get peace. My soul calmed. My mind rested. And I left my Calli with her Creator. Isaiah 26:3 tells me that “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”, and this is truth. 💝
Maybe, that lonely daughter needs to learn, just like her mom, that God is the best One to be close to, and the only One that never disappoints...
Maybe the mom and the daughter need to learn the value of consistently coming to God to ask. ASK. ASK. “...always pray and never lose hope.” Luke 18:1
And maybe, we simply live in a sinful, broken, sick world, and things go wrong, and we won’t understand until we get to Heaven, and we won’t care anymore anyways!
But we have to persevere. And we have to be aware that this is a battlefield. And the enemy wants to wear us down and break us and make us useless! Because a defeated mind, a mind that has given up, is useless.
“In this world you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world!” John 16:33 The hope is not in this world, but in the forever life to come.
By the way, two days later, we made a long but special trip to the last place we had seen our
Calli, our sweet yet naughty calico cat. Yep, she was waiting for us, more loving than ever! Guess I just had to learn a lesson, or maybe she is a little rebel and didn’t listen to God 😳
The fight and the victory are part of every battle. Be aware of the little things... Pray. Give thanks. Trust God. Be victorious, my friend!
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