I Won’t Let You Break – Sunday Devotional

This is not the devotional I intended for today at all.

But this week has been a taste of hell on earth.

Last weekend at the conference was wonderful, and I connected with some amazing people, made new friends, and deepened other relationships.  But I came home exhausted (most writers are introverts, and I am definitely an introvert).  Then I turned around and took three days of 8-hour classes for my day-job, and have been fighting a spiritual battle all week long.

The battle isn’t over.

Ever since Thursday, I have been dealt blow after blow to try and break me.

On Thursday, it was the realization that my father really is on a road to self-destruction, and he doesn’t care if he takes the family down with him.  I refuse to let that happen.  If he’s determined to destroy his own life (literally), there is no way in Heaven or hell that I am going to let him destroy the other people I love.

On Friday, it was the looming sense that something was coming.  I wouldn’t learn until Saturday morning that there was a plane crash in Kansas on Friday afternoon.

The four men who died were good friends of friends.  I’d only met one of them, but a close friend of mine considered him her best friend.  My heart aches for her and for his family so much.

And between everything on Friday, there was family stuff happening that wasn’t good.

It’s Sunday morning now.  It’s Mother’s Day, which has another significance to my family, and it’s a bittersweet day.  The battles that we are facing now are the culmination of things set in motion on a dreadful Mother’s Day back in 2000, when we almost lost my brother.  Through a miraculous set of circumstances, he’s still with us, but Mother’s Day has still never been the same.

Especially this year, as my dad tries to tear mom down every chance he gets.

I should be light-hearted and looking forward to this day, because believe me, I am ever so grateful for my mother.

But right now all I want to do is sit down and cry.

But I won’t.

You see, with every spiritual battle (and I’m no stranger to spiritual battles), there are two things at work – the temptation to take things into your own hands (or to give up entirely), and the choice to surrender completely to God.

Therefore let him take heed who stands lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NKJV

God does not cause bad things to happen – not even the horrific plane crash, or the heartache my family is going through.

But we live in a fallen world with sinful people.  There is an enemy at work in the spirit, trying to destroy the Light.

As much as we are children of God, we are His soldiers too.

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him [Jesus] who enlisted him as a soldier. ~ 2 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV

God has a covenant duty to His children, but His children have a covenant duty to make a stand in this world for the souls of mankind.  Christians, of all people, should not expect an easy life.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing . . . Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted of God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. ~ James 1:2-4, 13-17 NKJV

This life will never be easy.  That is what the promise of heaven is – perfect peace and rest in the presence of God.

But God will never forsake us here.  He can’t, or he would cease to be God.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
~ Jude 24-25 NKJV